What began as a date night ended up being one of our most unforgettable nights together. Brandon (fiance)’s business made the signs for a new local restaurant in Whitehouse Station, NJ. We planned a dinner date there, which ended up being the third night the restaurant was open. Upon our arrival, we noticed there was only one waiter and two rooms full of customers waiting to be served. The owner apologized to each table numerous times and explained that the two other waiters didn’t show up so they only had one. Instead of complaining or making a scene like other customers were, we had the urge to help. Brandon and I looked at each other and said, “Be the change you want to see in the world, right?” Without hesitation we got up and asked where they needed the most help. He handed us a notepad and sent us on our way. Neither of us had any experience being a waiter. With a smile on our faces, we began! For the next 4 hours, Brandon and I waited tables, cleaned up the dishes, set tables for new customers, and most importantly helped everyone have an experience they’d never forget. We quickly became friendly with the kitchen staff as we went flying in and out of the kitchen putting in orders, serving meals, and cleaning. Our act of kindness created a chain reaction when another man, Chris, chose to help as well. We got to know the customers on a deeper level. I said to Chris’ wife, Denise, “if only everyone spoke to each other the way we are right now, the world would be a better place.” He held up his phone saying, “this is the problem these days.” How can we communicate with the people right in front of us if we are too busy sitting on our phones all day? I digress.
I worked closely with a young women whose primary job was cleaning in the kitchen and clearing the tables. We became a power team. As we prepared place settings, she turned to me and said, “My English.. not good.” I said, “My Spanish.. not good.” We laughed and had a full conversation in broken English and Spanish and were able to learn so much about each other. She spoke about Guatemala and her family. I told her my class is currently teaching me Spanish so I couldn’t wait to tell them I practiced this weekend. She touched my heart in a way that I’ll never be able to re-pay her. She brought me back to the week-long service trip I took to Nicaragua where the language barrier presented a challenge but brought about beautiful human connections. We are proud to say, every customer left that night with a smile on their face…even the ones who were originally cranky. We continued to help clean up once everyone left. After 4 hours, we sat down and ate our own dinner. It was well worth the wait! The owner and workers kept calling us their “angels.” Little do they know, they are OUR angels because we haven’t stopped smiling since we got home (at 11:00pm). As I passed Brandon a hundred times throughout the night, I kept thinking wow this is the person I get to share my life and build a family with? How did I get so lucky?
My hope is that this inspires others to step out of their comfort zone. Help a stranger. Be kind. I promise it will impact your life in ways you could have never imagined. Be kind to one another. And please put down the cell phone and talk with each other. You never know what you can learn about people. The man who stepped in to help as well, Chris, ended up being from my hometown which I recently moved away from in June.
“Be kind to one another”
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
Be positive… that energy will spread
Step out of your comfort zone… you may surprise yourself
Challenge yourself… you may learn something new
If more acts of kindness were displayed, the world would be a better place
Don’t allow your cell phone to be a higher priority than real human connection
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