Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Crazy Starbucks Lady and the Tortilla Cook

A few days ago, I found myself in line at Starbucks behind one of those super-fun "half-caff, non-fat, no-whip, extra hot, extra foam" customers. I watched in amazement and a bit of trepidation as she placed her very detailed order which included...get this...a quarter pump....of a certain flavor. A quarter pump! Then after ordering extra foam, she decided there was too much and angrily ordered the poor barista to scoop off some of the foam. At the time, all I could think was "boy, I bet this lady's food gets spit in a lot!" I don't think I need expound too much on the lessons I took away from what I witnessed at the coffee shop. All too often, our own sense of entitlement and importance overpowers our goodwill and we become like the lady at Starbucks, angry and demanding when others don't fulfill our desires. I think our trip to Guatemala will teach us quite a bit about treating others with respect and dignity, as we will have that modeled for us daily. I am thinking of one particular elderly woman who spends 5 days a week making tortillas in the kitchen of the Casa Shalom cafeteria. Hour after hour, she grinds corn, forms tortillas and cooks them on a giant round grill. Its a hot, thankless job but she cooks with a smile, cheerily welcoming anyone who wanders into the kitchen. This lady is such a great example to all of us who have a tendency to put our own needs first and to those of us whose treatment of others varies based on our mood at the moment.

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