While having breakfast at Panera’s this morning, an older woman lovingly observing her young grandson caught my eye. Every once in awhile she would look at me and I would smile at her with that affirming “Global-Grandma-Glance” to convey “Lucky You!” (My grandkids live in Hawaii on a Marine base and I miss them.)
Suddenly, she quietly asked if she could share something and then explained that a middle-aged man, sitting in my seat, recently asked her in a despising tone if she spoke English. When she responded “yes” with an accent (she was born in a Middle Eastern country), he told her that “You don’t belong here!” and proceeded to pick up his papers and move to a different table. Fortunately, a young woman sitting nearby who observed the incident, expressed her disbelief over the man’s behavior after he moved, and not only gave the older woman a hug, she went and bought the child a “sweet” from the counter.
As I learned, this older woman has lived in Coronado for 25+ years, owns a beautiful home, and her grandson attends a well-known private school. Having never been treated so rudely before because of her ethnic background, she was both shocked and saddened. In the span of a few minutes, our hearts met on common ground –- the Golden Rule (Treat others the way you would like to be treated). Little did I know how much I would gain from giving a simple, free smile this morning — a priceless, mutual hug!
Submitted by Margie Carroll