Dinner for One

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Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret…Robert Brault

Several years ago, I managed a Colorado restaurant.  One particular evening, around dusk, customers filled the dining room despite the heavy falling snow.  Several staff members were unable to get to work due to the weather.  As a result I waited on tables, too.

I watched as the host sat a tall, thin man at a table in another waiter’s section.  The customer’s unshaven face looked drawn and his nose red with cold.  He wore tattered jeans—wet around the bottoms—and an old dirty overcoat—underdressed for a restaurant with candles and cloths,

The few waiters and waitresses complained that the man was a waste of time and flipped a quarter to see who would lose and have to serve him.

“What is the matter with all of you?” I said. “I will take care of him.”

The man kept his eyes lowered to the menu and traveled a spindly finger down the items: Bouillabaisse, Mozzarella & Romas, Arugula Artichoke Salad, Iced Oysters in Rainbow Shells

Spinach & Roasted Beets…

“Good evening sir,” I said as I looked into the tired, dark eyes of the man.

“I foresee a good night,” said the man. “I’m thirsty for a bottle of wine, yes this one.”  He looked up into my eyes and with a perfect French pronunciation, he smiled and said, “The Beaujolais Village .”

The man removed his coat, tapped the wine label on the list and I leaned into see exactly which Beaujolais the man wanted. The odor of unbathed skin reached my nose.  I started thinking about the man’s secret, what it was that I didn’t see.

He added, “Please bring two glasses,” then briskly rubbed his hands together.

I returned, opened the bottle and offered a taste of wine to the man.  He held the glass up, swirled the liquid to observe its legs and then sipped the wine, letting it roll over every taste bud on his tongue.

“Yes, yes. This is good,” he said as he took the bottle from my hand and poured wine into the second glass.  “Don’t let me toast alone.”

He handed me the other glass.

“Here’s to warmth tonight,” he said and then we tapped glasses and drank to warmth.

“What can I bring you this evening?” I asked, wondering what the man meant when they toasted to warmth.

“I can order everything right now–the African Lobster Tails, the Arugula & Artichoke Salad, the Prosciutto-wrapped tenderloin, medium rare, and a baked potato dripping in butter.”

“You must be hungry tonight,” I said.

He nodded, “Oh and please bring all the food at once.”

The man arranged the plates on the table, admiring it all before eating as though observing a piece of art.  He then savored every bite of food, with impeccable manners all along.

After clearing the plates from the table, I offered dessert, but the man declined and grabbed my hand. “Thank you for everything and now I want you to do one more thing for me.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“I’ve had some tough times lately.”  The man stood, put on his overcoat and turned up its collar.  He looked at the floor and then nearly whispered, “I have no money and I won’t be paying the bill.  So as soon as I walk out the door, call the police~”

I interrupted him, teetering between sadness and feeling afraid.  “I can take care of the meal for you, write it off, help you out~”

“I’ll be walking south down the street where the police can pick me up.”  He shook his spindly finger at me, “Remember you joined me in the toast for warmth and this will get me that~you will be helping me out.”

With that the man turned away from me, looked over his shoulder and mouthed “thank you.”  He walked through the dining room, out the front door and headed south on the now dark and snow-covered street.  I watched through the window, wavering back and forth on what to do.  I, watched him walk for a few moment before I picked up the phone.

nannette rogers kennedy 2011

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Open Heart ~

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I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys~
Charles Dickens

And let us consent and intend to keep our hearts open throughout the entire year and remember we are all fellow passengers, one human family, that we are all One. And in loving one another and really following the golden rule (which is present in every religion on the planet) we can make a difference round the world ~ nannette

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140 Days of Kindness

current events, essay, non-fiction 56 Comments »


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible~Dalai Lama

Thank you to all my twitterers, facebook friends and friends and family for you kind act suggestions ~ We CAN do this!

I meant to post this yesterday, on the U.S. celebration of Thanksgiving ~ but alas, way too much turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberries, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, etc… I was grateful to spend time with my family and decided that the 140 days of kindness could wait until the day after.

So today is the today to begin living from kindness ~ during this 140 days, daily kindness will become natural and automatic.

Below is just the beginning of the list of 140 acts of kindness. In the comment section, make suggestions of your acts of kindness and I will update the list regularly ~ leave your name or twitter user name if you like.

Then if you want, take the 140 Acts of Kindness Pledge and help make our world a better place . . . kindness is contagious.  Simply state in the comments that you commit to 140 days of kind acts ~

#1 @cupcakes5 Rake the leaves from an elderly neighbor’s yard. #gratitude

#2 @afathersheart2 BE AN ORGAN DONOR

#3 @lizisaacslwc Do something special unconditionally for someone without them kn owing it. Be anonymous. It is the greatest form of kindness

#4 @TheQuantumCoach Place a note under a random windshield wiper that saying, “You are loved and you are worthy.” #gratitude

#5 @JCOblessed Be all the love & joy U know how 2 B.

#6 @azcactusflower out to dinner pick a table and anonymously pay for their meal.

#7 @jonitchr How about crochet or knit hats/ blankets for preemie babies? Does that work?

#8 @amgoth2000 Mom & I r knitting/crocheting hats 4 homeless 4 Lion Brand Charity

#9 nannette1094 Scrape the snow off a stranger’s windshield & “draw” a smilely face on the hood of the car

#10 nannette1094 print off hopeful quotes & place on others’ windshields at grocery store

#11 nannettee1094 pay for person’s coffee behind you at your fav coffee shop (this will inspire them)

#12 @JasonEscape: feed the meter for a stranger.

#13 @LunaJune: it is those little things that make the difference.. had a guy a couple weeks ago come up and pay .09 cents for me :)

#14 nannette1094 #kindacts pay for a couple of dollars of groceries for the person behind you

#15 nannette1094 purchase food and put into the bin at the front of your grocery store for those in need

#16 nannette1094 Offer to gift wrap for an elderly friend or neighbor

#17 @lele647 actually what we have here are like coupons you choose at the end of your grocery trip and all money goes to food banks too

#18 @JasonEscape Another good one, Jason! #kindacts Toys for Tots.

#19 @lele647 everytime I go I grab a dollar which ends up about 3 dollars a week. Kids take canned foods to school

#20 @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Visiting a hospice. Performing, reading or just being present. #kindacts

#21 @JCOblessed: @nannette1094 Spend time with & listen to the stories of that elderly neighbor who lives alone.#kindacts

#22 RT @P10S: I enjoy #kindacts which are anonymous like leaving a small, thoughtful goodies on a desk or doorstep with a note of well wishes

#23 RT @P10S: likethoz Ferro rocher chocolates http://bit.ly/6qnyAg orAndes mints http://bit.ly/8UDM83 I think were made 2 hug ppl #kindacts

#24 @JasonEscape Visiting a hospice. Performing, reading or just being present. #kindacts

#25 @JasonEscape Standing up for someone who needs it when nobody else will.

#26 RT @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Big Brother, Sister, etc. #kindacts

#27 @azcactusflower we hv extra Christmas lights elderly neighbor’s son used to put theirs up, he died We r going 2 surprise them w/lights up.

#28 @azcactusflower volunteer and a children’s hospital to rock sick babies..never enough hands for that. #kindacts

#29 @JasonEscape: @nannette1094 Telling a stranger that they have something in their teeth. #kindacts

#30 RANDOM KIND ACTS…crochet or knit a lapghan for a nursing home patient ..someone you don’t even know.

#31 Feed the feral cats in your neighborhood. (Neuter them, too, if you can!)

#32 @djdabblin I shared my extra water filter pitcher with my neighbor because this past week her water filter has been on the brink of not working properly. Everyone needs healthy water!

#33 @journalwriter7 #kindacts Sincere compliments with a smile can always brighten someone’s day; they are apt to remember, giving them a boost of confidence.

#34 @nannette1094 Shovel the snow off your neighbor’s walk or driveway ~

#35 @radiate I’d say the FIRST kind act ANY One can DO is LOVE SELF – it exponentially affects ALL of WE Positively & is the one place we..have complete control/direction/power/CHOICE…..from there….”ask what LOVE would DO, how LOVE would BE” in ALL situ’s positive energy this has BEen of assistance Sweet Angel, humbled and honoured YOUr request :) Big Hugs of LOVE to YOU

#36 @JhhR Smile at babies.
#37 Send a card to someone you haven’t heard from in a while – just to say hi and remind them they are special to you.
#38 Look the cashier/teller/etc. in the eye and say thank you after your transaction.
nother idea: When you’re walking kids to school, help keep the sidewalk clean by picking up any trash you find.
#39 At a cafe, pay for the coffee of the person next in line
#40 Another idea: listen without judgment when you hear about a different opinion or a choice that you wouldn’t make. Just listen.

#41 @kaboogie have your kids write their teachers a thank you not #kindacts

#42 @DrJackKing Let me encourage you to visit @Foyble_org ~ “for all the good we do and all the good we will do” #kindacts #payitforward

#43 @faraway67 My #kindact for every day – smile at least to 10 people that look sad…simple but it works

#44  Do an errand 4 a homebound elderly neighbor or acquaintance; or offer 2 drive them 2 appointments. #kindacts
#45 Visit a homebound elderly neighbor or acquaintance; bring a small present to cheer or meal 2 share. #kindacts
#46 Send HAND-WRITTEN note 2 someone who needs a little cheer. Nowadays, handwitten notes R rare, so this is special. #kindacts
#47 (Have done this 3x recently) – offer to gas-up for some1 who can’t go anywhere bcoz out of gas & out of money. #kindacts
#48 Pay the bridge toll for the 1 or 2 motorists behind you at a toll booth. #kindacts
#49 I’ve written anonymous notes & left them on windshield of cars 4 random #kindacts. Sometimes I insert a $-or-2 to surprise.
#50 I’ve written anonymous notes & inserted them in cards @ Hallmark, card shops. Sometimes insert a $-or-2 for fun. #kindacts
#51 This is common: VOLUNTEER @ a local homeless shelter or other charitable orgs. #kindacts
#52 This is less common but very kind: Actually ENGAGE w. the homeless. Talk to them, spend time listening 2 them. #kindacts

#53 RT @dmbrown111: RT @NurseBevW: ♥Granted!♥ #crafterslove Wish Upon a Hero – I wish for 15 dollars to get medicine: http://bit.ly/5qp86s via @addthis

#54 @KamaainaInOC Red Cross is sponsoring Holiday for Heroes.Cards can be snt to Holiday Mail for Heroes PO Box 5456 Capitol Heights MD 20791

#55 @KevyK4life #kindacts ~ Say hello with a smile to everyone you meet..start a smiling revolution

#56 Jennifer Rogers Cummings When you are at the store & hear that someone has forgotten their discount card, offer them yours ~

#57 Eileen Munzo Let the person/people (depending on how kind you want to be) go ahead of you in line…

#58 Leave a kind/inspirational note in a library book on a post-it…

#59 When you leave a tip at a restaurant, leave a note or speak to a manager telling about the great service you got…let people’s bosses know how great they are doing.

#60 Colleen McBride smile at someone!!!

#61 Zari Pirasteh start the day without expectation from ourselves:)

#62 Steven Parker There’s always leaving coupons next to corresponding products in stores.

#63 Colleen McBride say thank you and tell people to have a nice day! it’s amazing how many people out there disregard those in customer service/service industry!

#64 Krysta Banke I learned this one at RIT – hold the door and wait for the person who is next to pass through.

#65 Irene Allievi You don’t need to go to Africa you can help to people you see everyday. Just to talk to them, be interested how they are today , greet them happily. E.g. I am a teacher if one of my students is stuck I spend some overtime to help them. I’ve got an eldery mother, may times I’m tired I just do things for her. Her nurse is sometimes short of money I … See More, try to help, her. What I mean see to people who are around you every day and give them a happy day. Make them laugh and feel loved. It works. Try to be happy to make make people around you happy. Once you incorporate it, it becomes a habit.

#66 Irene Allievi Don’t give money to the street boys. Just take them into a coffee shop and feed them or buy them clothes, if you have time.

#67 Rachel Hale Drew Buy a bottle of your favorite hand lotion and leave it in the ladies’ room at work.

Keep adding more in the comment section and I’ll keep adding to this post ~

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