#GiveAPenny Living

“Can I Help You?”


It doesn’t take much to have a moment with someone. A stranger. A person who knows nothing about you but when they look at you with kindness makes you feel like a friend. Makes you feel something.

I was standing in line at the Dunkin Donuts around work waiting  behind about 20 kids asking for sugar cookie lattes with whipped cream and sprinkles. It’s all good. I’ll wait. And as we all do while we wait, a few thoughts start to dance around in my head like sugar plum fairies in regards to a few obstacles that have been on my plate recently. Staring at the floor in a daze for about 5 minutes I heard a call for me to head to the counter to place my order. “Can I help you?”


I looked up and saw the woman at the register. She was a bit older and wearing a name tag and visor. For some reason I just kept staring into her eyes. I couldn’t stop myself, even as I asked for my usual. Which came out unconsciously because I always order the same thing, medium hot coffee little bit of cream. I was locked into her gaze and she was locked in too. She was listening, doing her job, and punching in my order, but something caught us both. It was like her heart was working through her eyes to be felt. Well I could feel it and it was perfectly timed after my floor gazing where I needed to feel it most in that moment. I felt so much through her warm coffee stare that I reached my hands across the register. She followed and put her hands in mine. “You are just the sweetest thing,” was all that came out through my smile. We held hands.

She said,” as are you. You remember me.” She pointed at her name tag, “Mary.”

“Yes , Mary… I will remember you.”

“I’m your friend” she laughed and smiled. I agreed, grabbed my coffee, and then haven’t been able to forget Mary and how my friend made me feel since.

It was compassion. It was a stranger looking at me with understanding and softness, unknowing of my thoughts, my situation, and with no judgement, no knowledge, and no reason to care. Pure compassion and good souls walking among us here to, maybe unintentionally, help.

“Can I help you?”

Mary. She did. And maybe this post can help all of us be sweeter people, be Marys, and just help humanity by being nice to each other. As small of an act as just looking at people with kindness and compassion. Not for greed. Not for praise. Not for nothing but more friends in the world to have coffee with.

And if you’re lucky, share their donut.

Which for the record… if you’re working any job where you think people don’t notice. Some actually do.

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