Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Lasting Impression

While at Peet's Coffee recently, a man I didn't recognize came up to me out of the blue and said "I remember you! You are the guy that snatched a baby off the roof of a car!"

About 7-8 years ago, on another day at Peet's, I was in the process of putting a little sugar in my coffee when I heard a group of people suddenly yell, "Oh No!" Curious, I looked out the window just in time to see a young mother beginning to back out of her parking space into the street—with her baby still in the car seat on the roof of the car!

There were a lot of people outside watching this happen, but no one moved to do anything. Without thinking, bad knees and all, I raced outside to grab the car seat off the roof ( I don't think I have ever run that fast before or since). The woman looked at me in horror to see me with her baby's car seat in my hands. When I looked down into the car seat all I could see were two little feet sticking out of a blanket, the baby blissfully unaware of any danger.

The mother stopped the car, got out, took the car seat out of my hands, strapped it in the car and took off without saying a word. I don't think she was ungrateful.  I think she was choked with fear over what could have happened and mortified by the thought that she had forgotten her baby on the roof of her car. It didn't help that her nearly disastrous mistake had been witnessed by 15-20 people.

Looking back, it was striking that so many people who were a lot closer than I was, failed to act.  I think most of them were just caught off guard.

There are so many opportunities in front of us every day to do good.  When the time comes and your opportunity is in front of you, will you ACT? You never know how or when your actions might avert disaster or, at the very least, leave a lasting impression.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Someone is Always Looking

What started out as a place to go after picking my daughter up from school and while waiting for my wife to get off work, has grown to be a family tradition.

Peet’s Coffee and Tea in Pleasant Hill is our family’s place to hang out. Most days you will find me sitting at one of the tables drinking a steaming cup of the best coffee made (my opinion).  After all the years of coming to this location, I have become friends with many of the baristas.

For the past three years, our family has been meeting at Peet’s every Wednesday afternoon to have our favorite drinks after eating at Daphne's Greek cafe. You see, Wednesday is the day for $1.49 Street Pitas, so it’s the perfect day for a mid-week dinner out together. I could eat ten of the savory taco-style meat sensations, but I limit myself to two. We often bring our computers and sit down and write, do homework, or just play video games. Most times, we just sit back and talk. However, there are times when we are engaged in conversation with each other and with other customers.

It's just a great day and we all look forward to it. Sometimes we are the last customers in the store and help shut it down at 8:30pm.

Recently, I had a conversation with several people who also frequent the store, and they expressed how much it means to see our family every Wednesday. They said they could not believe how much our family likes hanging out with each other and that it is inspiring to them.

At the beginning, we did not set out to do something to inspire other people. We hang out together because we love to! It has been a pleasant surprise to find how many people our simple time together has touched.

When you think your life and the things you do don't matter, remember that someone is always looking.