I walked into Subway. An sixty-something man was in front of me. He ordered his sandwich, then his wife’s sandwich. For his wife’s order, he tried to hand the sandwich-maker a sticky note, but she couldn’t accept it. They politely went back and forth until they compromised: the man held the paper in a position so the worker could read the writing and make the sandwich. We continued down the line, and the man ahead of me ordered his cookies and drinks, then paid. He turned around to fill his drink cups and paused. I thought he was simply deciding what to drink. But he took a step toward me and quietly asked, “Could you tell me which one is the sweet tea? I can’t read.”
I would have never known. I wouldn’t have guessed. It reminded me to be willing to pay attention, listen, and help, because no matter what assumptions I make about the people around me, I never really know unless I interact with them. Neither do you. Resolve to pay attention.