I walked to the market near my daughter’s home. It was one of those first gorgeous days of early Spring. We worked our way through the hallways. It was a bit odd to be in a public space but was assured by the respectful guidelines everyone seemed to be following with no hesitation. Perhaps we were all simply happy to be out and about on a gorgeous day with friends and family in order to find delicious fresh food for the week.
I didn’t have anything specific (but time with my daughter) on my list for the day, but she had her routine favorites. At one stand, I decided to get some fresh green beans to cook for the week. I heard the vendor mention mushroom popcorn, and I was intrigued. I’m not a mushroom fan, but I’m a bit of a popcorn snob. After he explained the name comes from the shape it pops into, my daughter and I decided to share a bag. The vendor, who was quite full of personality, added the multiple bags of goodies we had gathered and announced the amount, which was 1$8 and some change. I handed him a $20 bill. As he started to pick up the change, I let him know I intended him to keep it. He refused: “I was always taught what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours. The change is yours, not mine.”
How could I argue with that?
My contact with him was minimal, but I could appreciate he practiced what he preached. Or perhaps, he preached what he practiced. Do we practice what we preach? Do we preach what we practice? What do we hide because of discrepancies and insecurities? How well do we authentically engage with others, whether we know them well or know them once?
As a follow up, I must tell you that homegrown mushroom popcorn is delicious. It is perhaps the fluffiest popcorn I’ve ever had. I had not waste of unpopped kernels. My daughter enjoyed it also, and the following week, she picked up three bags for her, her sister, and me. The vendor’s response? “Hooked, aren’t you?”
Yes, Al, we are. Thank you.