Two weeks ago, on August 26th 2022, I experienced one of the types of interactions that we will not usually hear about by watching the nightly news. That morning before my hike in the beautiful state of Oregon, I decided to live on the edge and get a cup of coffee. Yes, a cup of coffee. I stopped drinking coffee in late 2021 because it started interfering with my nightly meditation practice. On the 26th, I signed a contract for one of the most meaningful speaking events of my career and as a teetotaler, coffee is the farthest I sway to the “wildside” during this stage of my development.
At the Hot Spot Cafe, on Main Street, in Cottage Grove, Oregon, at the table closest to the window, I was going through my business email and drinking my coffee. A couple of women came in, placed their orders and sat down within my view to wait for their food. About twenty minutes passed, I completed one of my many email responses and saw that they were almost finished with their meals. I have not had biscuits and gravy since my big boy days and I happened to look up from my laptop screen to see the following: one of the women scooping up the last of her gravy smothered biscuit and the digital menu with a huge picture of two biscuits swimming in gravy flashing above the young lady taking orders. These days, I often live through the experiences of others when it comes to certain foods, so I asked the woman who just took her last bite if the biscuits tasted as good as they looked. She looked at the cashier, then looked at me and then with a subtle nod of her head, implied that they were. I smiled and continued with my email work.
They left, about a minute passed and then the climax of this story took place. An elderly lady came up to me from the area closest to the cashier with a bowl in her hand. I looked at her and she said, “Here, try it. I haven’t touched it yet.” I looked closer and it was a biscuit covered with gravy. I said, “Ahhh thanks, but no ma’am, I was just asking because I may get it tomorrow.” Remember, I have not eaten biscuits and gravy in over ten years and had no real plans of getting it. Wanted to be nice as I attempted to decline her offer the best way I knew how at the time. She replied, “Here, if you taste it, then you will know if you like it or not.” She passed me a fork, and I took a little piece of biscuit with gravy out of her bowl. It tasted better than I remembered. She turned around and slowly walked back to the table where her breakfast date was eating with his back turned. When she sat down, he turned around and they both looked at me and smiled.
Moral of this story: That morning a true spiritual connection happened in that cafe. If humanity’s normal rules based on perception were applied to this scenario, the outcome would not have been expected or predicted. Nationalities, religions or shades of skin were not factors in any of our initial actions or responses. The woman gave me her honest opinion about the biscuits and gravy, while the elderly woman wanted me to taste it for myself directly from her plate. Experiences like this cannot happen if one’s perception has been tainted with the fear that has become such a dominant influencer in our current society. Today, be that presence that brightens someone’s perspective the way that sweet lady did with me in Hot Spot Cafe in Cottage Grove Oregon.
Hunger for New Knowledge Pillar Action Plan: Have you reflected on what your usual first thoughts are about people? Has our humanity trained you to believe that most people are out to get you? Is your circle diverse or does it only include certain types of people and/or experiences? Do you know how powerful your perception is? Did you know that how you feel can instantly influence how you communicate to others and how your presence is perceived? Today, act as if every single person you see is a direct extension of yourself. Smile and expect the same type of energy to be given back to you. This may not positively impact everyone you interact with, but it will do way more good than harm; for yourself and even more importantly, for the person who receives your positive energy.
Kinja’ Current Reality: These types of situations happen to me on a regular basis. As I reflect, my mother is responsible for the naivety that formed my foundation. There have probably been many times along my journey when prejudice of many kinds were aimed at me, but instead of receiving them as personal attacks against me, I always assumed that they were simply having bad days; never did I take the actions of one person/group of people and make judgements about an entire population. This life practice continues to be responsible for my emotional, physical and spiritual growth. It also continues to bring others into my path who are on similar journeys. To dive deeper into understanding the Four Pillar system, explore the 365 page manual at any time. Regardless, next week I will see you again in another episode of the Decade Series.