This morning, I sat at a table at my local Starbucks and I listened to three very pretty, very boisterous, horribly behaved young teenage girls at a table near me. I heard them laugh about the girl who sang a song about being lonely at the talent show. “She is so weird!” When they complained about the crappy presents people had given them in the past, “I swear, it looked like a used water bottle,” I began to squirm uncomfortably in my chair.
As they bashed some poor girl named Catherine who “wanted to be the lead singer, but we took a vote and everyone wanted me instead, so sorry Catherine – you can be the manager,” I glared at them, but it went unnoticed.
With each new topic I thought, “This couldn’t have been written in a more cliché-mean-girls way by a Hollywood scriptwriter.” I fantasized about turning to them and telling them to stop. But instead I hemmed and hawed, hoping at any moment one of them would say something nice and redeem themselves, supposing maybe I was misunderstanding them… but, you know, that’s not how these things go. They fueled each other on and laughed louder and complained more. Finally, I couldn’t take it. I left to do my grocery shopping.
The entire time in the store, I felt conflicted. Should I have said something? Should I have stood up for the Catherines of this world? Professionally, I teach girls how to stand up for each other as part of my job and this felt like a problem I couldn’t ignore. Personally, it hit home, too. I remembered being 13 and invited to a Bat Mitzvah.
I persuaded my mom to take our very small budget-for-gifts money to a department store so I could pick out a bracelet for my friend. I chose a pretty collection of bright glassy beads strung together. And I vividly remember watching that friend open my gift at her house later, and then turn to another girl with a snickering, “A bunch of marbles? Okay….” I felt like a failure.
I drove by the Starbucks again on my way home, and saw them still sitting in the window. I raced home, ran into my house, grabbed a note card and wrote a quick, heartfelt note.Then I ordered three mini Frappuccinos on my mobile app and headed back up to Starbucks. They were still there.
I walked up to them and said, “Hi Girls. You don’t know me but it looks like you’re here studying and I wrote you a note of encouragement.” I handed them the card and walked away. (The drinks weren’t ready, but the barista agreed to deliver them for me.)
Here is what I wrote:
“I sat near you today in Starbucks and listened as you talked. You three are obviously pretty and hard-working. I wish your kindness matched your pretty exteriors. I heard you talk about a girl who sang a song about being lonely in the talent show – and you laughed. About a girl who couldn’t be lead singer because you got all the votes, about crappy presents other people have given you…and you sounded so mean and petty.
“You are smart and you are pretty. It would take nothing from you to also be kind. – M.”
Normally, I wouldn’t focus on a girl’s appearance like this, but in this case, I thought it was important to speak their language before I delivered my point. I also wanted to point out that having a “pretty card” only hides bad behavior for so long before people see past it. In high school, being pretty is still high value and I wanted to call attention to that.
Possibly they laughed and ditched my note in the trash along with the Frappuccinos. Or, they may have gotten defensive and complained to each other that I was a total over-reactor, and they didn’t mean what I thought I heard. And perhaps it’s true that I overstepped my bounds, but I have to believe that there is still room in our village for lessons from strangers with good intentions in their heart.
I didn’t want to shame them out loud or put them on the spot. But my hope is that maybe, just one of them was only going along with the others, and tonight she will think about that in a meaningful way as she’s falling asleep.
Preemie Found In Trash Bag With Maggot-Infested Head Wound, Now She’s Fighting For Her Life
One thing I will never understand, and am quite sure many people can relate, is how a person can be able to abandon their little defenseless baby at a time they need them the most and walk away.
Unfortunately, such things still happen. In a recent case that is garnering a lot of attention, a baby girl was reportedly found inside a plastic bag in Vietnam. The baby had been exposed to the sun, had several mosquito bites and had a nasty wound in her head that had become infested with maggots.
According to sources, the child was found tied to a coffee tree in Lam Dong Province, in the Central Highlands of Vietnam.
When she was found, the baby was in a horrific condition. Doctors feared she would not survive, and if she did, then she wouldn’t last too long.
Luckily, Venerable Minh Tai, abbot of the Hue Quang Pagoda, came to the poor baby’s rescue.
Tai has taken in more than 100 orphans over the years, giving them a safe place to live and grow until they found a foster family.
When Tai learnt of the baby girl’s plight, she immediately adopted her. With the help of her nuns, Tai currently takes care of ten orphans.
Tai also managed to raise $25,000 from kind Facebook users and the temples in Vietnam to pay for the baby’s medical bills.
The baby girl was named Hoai An, which means perpetual peace in Vietnamese. Baby Hoai has a number of health issues but doctors are doing the best they can for her.
“I wouldn’t write her off at this point; that would be wrong. There is a chance her condition will improve.” Dr. Tang Kok Kee, a neurosurgeon treating Hoai told the Straits Times.
Tai also is doing the best she can for baby Hoai, by giving her unconditional love and praying for her. “She is sleeping better, crying louder and has more of an appetite. She has also gained about 700g in weight and her reactions have improved,” Tai said.
Please remember to share this article with friends and family to garner prayers and well wishes for baby Hoai as she fights for her life and to show appreciation for all the incredible people who have helped so far.
Five Guys staff sees a customer too weak to order—so they feed him a free meal
There is always something amazing going on within the local communities. Last month, customers of the Five Guys restaurant in Detroit witnessed an uplifting random act of kindness between the restaurant staff and a sick customer.
Detroit’s Greektown neighborhood, Five Guys franchise manager was having a normal day at work when he saw a familiar face at the restaurant — It was Leonard. He noticed that the customer was not feeling alright.
“This time when he came in, he was having trouble ordering, saying he was sick,” Justin told FOX 2 Detroit.
As Leonard struggled to make his order, Justin decided to give him the full meal: a burger done “all the way” (topped with all the classic ingredients), plus fries and a drink.
And he didn’t charge him for the meal. “He was so unwell that he couldn’t even process the order himself,” Justin said. “So we just gave it to him.”
It didn’t just end there. Leonard was too weak to feed himself. That’s when a Justin stepped up once again and fed the man.
The manager has really won the hearts of many people.
“At Five Guys we don’t have — or believe in canned interactions but in the genuine interactions,” Justin told Liftable. “All of our interactions are genuine.”
“Every guest is special to us,” he told FOX 2. A random customer at the restaurant took photos of the scene and shared them online. The photos have since gone viral.
Justin was surprised that people were making a big deal of it after his story went viral and got picked up by news outlets.
“It came as a surprise to me, that so many are surprised to see this level of service for our guests,” he told Liftable.
“What I am most grateful for is the impact the story has had on my team,” Justin said. “Too often my staff and I hear negative stories about the city we call home and often morale is lowered because ‘who wants to work in that environment.’”
It is amazing how a small act of kindness can impact a lot of people in the community.
“I believe that every person has the ability to make an impact on a person’s life through small acts, like this one,” Justin said.
Share this uplifting story with your friends
Heartbroken grandfather eats alone next to late wife’s memorial at granddaughter’s wedding
Everyone loves weddings because it’s usually a great time for families both from near and far to come together and celebrate someone’s special day.
Unfortunately, sometimes some family members are just too far away from us.
Sahrah Elswick together with her husband Zachery were celebrating their marriage when Sahrah decided to set up a tribute to her beloved grandmother “mawmaw,” who died in 2017
She didn’t realize that the seat she was about to set up for her mawmaw will create a heartbreaking moment.
At her wedding, a white chair with photos of Mawmaw and a sign on it that read, “We know you would be here today if heaven wasn’t so far away,” was set up to honor her grandmother.
“It meant everything to me to see this at my wedding. It was so important that she be a part of my day because we were very close and I’m so glad I did it because now I see that it meant even more to him,” Sahrah told TODAY Food.
While having dinner, Sahrah spotted a scene that made her burst into tears – her grandpa was sitting with the special memorial.
“When I saw him sitting there I immediately burst into tears I was just so heartbroken and also in awe at how much he loved her,” she said.
Pawpaw sat and ate with mawmaw today at my wedding 🥺 pic.twitter.com/GEXWMCfgXB
— Sahrah Elswick (@sahrahMichelle) July 7, 2019
“I just wanted to sit with her and be there with her,” Pawpaw said. Pawpaw and Mawmaw were married for 45 years and its evident they had a “loving relationship filled with fun” and you can tell by how she is missed.
Sahrah captured and shared the moment on social media and it has since gone viral.
Sahrah’s story just made me shed some tears. Share this story if you have a loved one that you miss so much.