I was at Starbucks yesterday and I wanted to write about it immediately. Since I’m doing this blog thing espousing the merits of kindness and forgiveness ad nauseam, I thought I should come forward with a challenge that I experienced-the good ol’ Coach For Your Heart himself- while standing in line.
If you want to test whether you’re really a good person, see what feelings come up when you’re behind someone in line waiting for a cup of coffee. Put yourself at Starbucks, possibly the worst place to get that simple cup of coffee, while the rest of the world standing in front of you wants something that may resemble coffee, has the word “coffee” in the definition, but comes out looking like a combination of a poorly made milkshake and toilet water before it’s been flushed (insert your visual here. You’re welcome!)
There were two people ahead of me looking. Just looking. One was standing in front of the cash register. The other was perusing the merchandise in that refrigerated section filled with overpriced combustibles sold in their three categories of serving sizes: Toddler, four year old, and first grader.
They took ten minutes to pick their food and shell out forty eight dollars for those three pieces of cheese on a plastic tray. I still just want a cup of coffee. And as they were about to pay for it, two other people shot in front of me to join the other two in their coffee-like selection process.
As these two began to look at the menu on the wall, they started talking to one another. They became disengaged from the selection process.
I still just want a cup of coffee. They are still talking. No selection. No choosing. Nothing.
It was at this point, I felt myself turn into Robert De Niro in “The Untouchables” when he was offering instruction the demise of Elliot Ness. I could hear myself think, “I WANT THEM DEAD! I WANT THEIR CHILDREN DEAD! I WANT THIER FRIENDS DEAD!”
Here’s what I did: Sat down, took a deep breath, and as I saw them leave the counter-which, by the clock on my computer, was only ninety more seconds, I got up, went to the counter, and the guy gave me my coffee straight away. Yay, me. Instead of standing there wishing a big wind would throw them into the parking lot so they could land head first on the asphalt, I sat down. I got out of line, went over the to the table, opened up my laptop, and sat down. I disconnected from the tension and, in this case, I removed myself from the situation.
Yeah, I waited a little longer than I wanted for my coffee.
I was a little embarrassed that I had to leave the line in order to get myself straightened out. But it worked, and I’m forwarding this to you all.
If I’m going to keep going as this “Coach for Your Heart” thing, I have to walk the walk, doing what I keep saying everybody else is supposed to do and applying it in my own life.
Writing is easy. Practicing what I preach can be a real bitch.