Thursday, December 18, 2008

Burger King line

So I've arrived in the San Jose, CA airport.  I've survived the security screening (had to take off my belt, and I almost forgot to take off my shoes).  I found myself waiting in line at the airport Burger King. As I stand there, my first impression is that the people in front of me must really be struggling to make up their minds about what to order...
I mean, really struggling: they seem zoned out.  
It is at this moment that I experience the first act of public kindness that I've seen in California in over 5 months: a gentlemen behind me kindly points out that I'm waiting in the "wrong" line and that  I need to step forward to order.  A metal border divides the order-ees from the orderers.  Turns out that I was on the wrong side...
I offer to let him order ahead of me, and he politely states that "you were there first."
Now you may be saying to yourself "The guy just showed you the right place to place your order.  No big deal."  Well, in the bay area of California, this is a big deal.  At least to me.  
When I first arrived in California, I immediately noticed the thick cloud of apathy.  I desired to squash it with an attitude of love, patience, and servanthood.
Sadly, I've found myself weighed down all too often at times by that thick, dark cloud,---after just 5 short months of living here.
Therefore, it was especially memorable to see a small, meaningful act of kindness.  It reminded me of the importance of serving others (and how serving others does not have to be a monumental undertaking).  It also reminded me that the people and experiences which occur in my sphere of the world, are NOT an accurate reflection of the *entire* planet.  I live in one of the most historically crude, cut through states in the nation--and the industrialized world.  I don't have to act like it.
It really helps be reminded that I'm not alone in my mission to see less apathy, and that there really are others out there who are not afraid to live out that mission, too.