I was sitting in a bookstore engrossed in writing when I noticed an elderly man, (in his early 80's), sit down with his coffee drink, at a nearby table. I smiled at him and he nodded, as I went back to work.
Within seconds, I witnessed him spill his coffee all over his pants and onto the floor.
Why is it a cup of something, looks like a gallon, once it has been knocked over?
A young woman,at another table jumped up and grabbed some paper napkins for him.
I observed the man get up very slowly and begin to wipe himself off. He gingerly attempted to bend over in order to wipe up the floor.
His stiff body wouldn't cooperate.
I went over to him and said "Please allow me to help you," and proceeded to wipe the floor clean.
It was like the entire scene played out in slow motion.
He thanked me.
I'm not sure if he was more embarrassed, frustrated or sad.
Aging isn't easy. Because we are living longer, experts have created three categories for the aging population.
There are three groups of old: the 'young old,' 'the old,' and 'the old, old.'
At 57, I consider myself to be in the 'young old,' group.
This elderly gentleman was clearly one of the 'old, old' members.
Losing both of my parents, within the last two years, makes me more sensitive and aware of the oldest group.
Aging is a part of life.
But slowly losing your physical and mental capabilities is hell.
And there's not a damn thing you can do about stopping it.
The older you get the more you lose.
I threw the wet napkins away and could see out of the corner of my eye, that he wasn't going to immediately leave the cafe.
I quietly went to the Barista (who didn't witness the incident) and asked if she remembered what the man ordered.
I informed her that he spilled his drink and I would like to purchase another.
She replied, "a plain latte." I said I would take one.
After making the drink she expressed how kind I was.
As she rang up the drink, on the cash register, she informed me, she was only going to charge me 50 cents because she was moved by my kind act.
I went back and gave the gentleman his new drink.
I told him, "I wanted to do this for you. I'm going to be old someday too."
He looked at me and said quietly, "It will happen sooner than you think."
"I know," I replied.
I realized something a couple of hours later.
I forgot something very important.
I didn't get his name.
I could have made a new friend.
I know now, that I'm not aware as I need to be.
Instead of commenting today, do a random act of kindness. Make someone's day.
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