Sometimes the Holiday season gets people motivated to do nice things, other times it leaves people stressed out.
Let me tell you about an occurrence that happened today when I went to get coffee....
Today after shoveling snow, I cleared off my car and drove down the street to Dunkin Donuts on Main Street in Oneonta. When I arrived, I noticed that only one person was in the store (besides the employees). I saw an unfamiliar face but it seemed very cheerful and I was met with a greeting and a smile.
When I got to the register I ordered the normal cold brew and iced coffee for Mrs. Blendos (Kaitlin), paid for it then waited for it to be made. While I was waiting, I talked to the elderly man who greeted me at the door and began to wonder what he ordered. After hearing him converse with the Dunkin Donuts employees I realized he wasn't waiting for an order and must have been waiting for his car to warm up He was being very polite and made the cashiers smile. As he walked out the door mentioning how he cannot wait to go on his annual vacation to the Bahamas, he looked me in the eye, put his hand out for a shake and wished to me "Happy Holidays".
I then thought to myself man, that guy is doing something right, treating people with respect, using lighthearted humor and being friendly to strangers, this is something I especially like to see from other men of color. These type of things usually make me feel pretty good in the moment because after all it doesn't cost anything to be nice to people and kindness etc. is the best gift you can really give to anyone.
As I walked out of the store after receiving my order, I put the drinks in my car then I hurried to my trunk. I wanted to see if I had any Blendos wristbands to give to him. I thought that I had several left over from the Holiday tournament in my car but after looking I had none available. After I closed my trunk, I looked over to see him holding windex out of the window of his car and instructed me to spray it on my front and back windshield to prevent ice from forming.
I took the windex and used it, thanked him for the advice and letting me use his windex. I then informed him that I appreciated his kindness and that I went to look to see if I had a wristband from the business that I own (as I briefly pointed to my sweatshirt for supporting evidence of the basketball program).
I started to regret not having the wristbands, but then I thought to myself maybe I should just give him mine off of my wrist. I then pulled up my sleeve and said "Hey man, I wanted to give you a wristband but I don't have any available, but if you don't mind I can give you the one off of my wrist."
He seemed over joyous because of this and after I briefly mentioned what I plan to do with the business and what I plan to achieve with the movement he openly embraced the wristband, put it on and I told him "bring it to the Bahamas with you" . He smiled and said absolutely and you have me as a supporter for life.
I have done several random acts of kindness in the past and today's interaction with this man further reiterated that its a great gesture for people.
It made my day, twice.
Eddie Gutierrez 2016 A League Sportsmanship (Mark Hendrickson Award)