The other day I found myself standing in a small donut shop. Early mornings make such places a popular destination and I was not alone as the line reached near the door.
Looking down the line I noticed a tall man in front of the counter. Before him stood a young man directly behind the cash register. Smiling, the clerk instantly engaged with the customer. His words, although nervous and unsteady, were honest and sincere.
Patiently taking the man’s order for a large coffee, he slowly turned 45 degrees to the right – his hand extending outward.
“Would you care for a freshly-baked donut this morning to go with your hot coffee?”
His motion was rough but empathetic. His eyes made contact while waving his hand – not unlike a game show host flipping letters to reveal the answer to a puzzle.
And then he waited. And waited. And waited.
The silence was heavy yet effective.
“Sure,” said the man. “A glazed will be fine.”
Tossing down a couple single bills, the customer grabbed his coffee – and the donut he never intended to buy – and headed out the door.
The young clerk carefully reorganized the napkin stand next to his register, looked back up, and proceeded to repeat the process to the very next person in line.
It was then I realized, every donut matters. At least it did in the little donut shop.
At times we all seem to get lax towards life, letting one moment slip effortlessly into the next. But it is just this passive attitude that compounds itself and delivering us to where are today – and tomorrow.
And to this clerk, every donut mattered for reasons beyond what those of standing in line could see or be measured by the cash register on the counter.
To anyone who cared to notice, this young man was out of his comfort zone. Nervous gestures replaced smooth transitions. Unsteady words translated from his mind to his mouth. It was, simply put, inspiring to witness.
Deep inside most of us is a place where we really just want to be comfortable or avoid being threatened by the unknown. And it is just this well trafficked destination where dreams go to die – a place that welcomes our insecurities and fears.
But you see, no matter how uncomfortable this young man felt, he was bravely making his very best effort to be successful while working outside of his comfort zone. Selling donuts is not sexy. As a matter of fact, selling donuts won’t change the Global Warming. But to him, learning to not only survive but also be successful outside of his comfort zone was something he wanted to accomplish.
Even though I may never again run across that very donut shop again, I know that each day there is something special going on behind the counter. Because in this little donut shop – and the important world between this young man’s ears — the selling an extra donut can make all the difference in the world.
– 30 –