When I think of gratitude, Coffee Shops don’t come to my mind – I was never one to go to a coffee shop and just hang out. My brother, on the other hand, just about works out of coffee shops across the country! Through the years, I have become picky about the coffee I drink (due mostly because my parents were coffee snobs (affectionately stated)) who would grind their own imported beans purchased at Zabar’s. But, I digress.
Tonight, however, I grabbed my book, Infinite Love & Gratitude, and went out to get some coffee and do some reading.
Although it was not particularly crowded, I found myself seated near a gentleman with some sort of workbook open as he was studying for an exam. As I sat down, I nodded, smiled, and gave the typical American acknowledgment without being too engaging.
After a short while, maybe 5 minutes or so, the gentleman closed his workbook and released a heavy sigh. It was at this point I glanced and saw the title of his review materials was for the CPCU 551 Risk Management exam. This is an insurance exam on par with a CPA exam. I smiled over at him and asked the obvious question, “Preparing to take CPCU 551?”
You see, I have earned the CPCU designation (Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter) along with several other designations. I knew exactly what he was going through. I did not get the feeling he was an underwriter and when I asked what field he was in he replied that he was am IT guy. Another quality just like me!
From that point, we had a delightful conversation about insurance, systems, metrics, and actuarial sciences. It was a nice mind stimulating conversation that was very enjoyable.
When I first sat down, my thoughts were strictly selfish. I don’t want to be bothered. I don’t want to interact with anyone. I want to be by myself. However, by showing some compassion towards someone else who was going through a trying time (and if you ever sat for one of these exams, you would agree it is trying) I enjoyed myself quite a bit.
Next time you think you just want to get away from it all, grab a cup of coffee or tea, and just turn inwards, try starting a conversation with a stranger at the coffee shop. You never know where it will go!
The Gratitude Guru