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Our magnificent power to influence change for good.

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far reaching effects that change the world” -Dalai Lama

A small drip coffee and a blueberry muffin.

This was the order placed at a Starbucks by a gentleman named Jim.

Jim didn’t seem like he had many friends or family. He lived alone across the street from this coffee shop in a retirement home. Every afternoon at 2pm, he’d walk across from his apartment, enter with a big smile and place the same order.

There would be a short interaction between Jim and the baristas working. They’d thank him for coming, offer him a compliment and a good-natured criticism of his beloved Philadelphia Eagles. Then, they’d tell him they looked forward to seeing him the next day. In other words, they would simply be kind to a gentleman who frequently felt alone.

These baristas would do one additional thing before handing Jim his coffee and blueberry muffin. They would write a short note of encouragement on it.

It wasn’t much. They’d write a favorite quote, affirmation or acknowledgment that they were grateful for him.

Jim would take his items, thank the baristas and walk back to his retirement home.

One afternoon as it approached 3pm, the baristas realized Jim hadn’t made it in yet. When he failed to return the following day, a barista walked across the street to check in on him. The receptionist shared that Jim had passed away over the weekend.

Although these Starbucks baristas only knew Jim from their momentary interactions with him, every one of their hearts broke when they learned the news. Jim had become part of their family.

The following morning a family member entered the store and invited them to the memorial service taking place the following afternoon. As humbling as it was to be invited, it was what they saw entering into this facility that caused them to lose their breath.

In this room, with just a few family members and friends, were three large round tables. These tables were stacked high with old Starbucks cup sleeves with handwritten notes on them.

Jim may not have received lots of visitors, may not have received lots of mail, but every day he received a simple love letter from his friends across the street. And after finishing the muffin, or drinking the coffee, he would add the new sleeve to the stack to be reminded of the love that others felt for him.

Writing a simple note on a bag. Offering a little encouragement on a cup. Looking people in the eyes. Seeing someone else as a unique, worthy and important individual. This all seems so little, insignificant, small. But for Jim, it was a reminder that he mattered, that he fit in, and that there were people who loved him.

My friends, in a marketplace that so frequently feels disconnected and isolated, all too often we view our jobs, tasks, and even life itself as being insignificant. We forget the incredible power and possibility we possess through doing little things well to elevate the lives of those around us.

Today, be reminded of the magnificent power of your life to influence change for good. It turns out regardless of our age, status or job title, that the ripples created by our actions truly do have the ability to impact lives around the world, across the street and across the aisle.

Not sure when to start? Start today.

Not sure where to start? Start with the reflection in the mirror.

Today is your day. Live Inspired.


12 replies on “Ripple Effects of Love”

What a beautiful reminder to be kind to those we come in contact with and with ourselves as well. We believe what we think, so think positively.

Hi John- the power of a handwritten note. When we share gratitude, concern, empathy and love- is powerful and long-standing. Thank you for sharing. Reminded me that I need to do more. We all need to do more.

Thanks John, I was so touched by the story. And with every day, I identify more with the customer treasuring each simple kind connection than the individual offering reassurance and appreciation as part of serving people.

A beautiful story and a great reminder to me this morning to be kind in every interaction I am blessed to have today with someone else.

I love this story and loved your conversation with Howard. What a beautiful reminder that is all matters. Thanks JO!

Wow! This one really resonated and inspired me to continue to do small things like writing on receipts at restaurants or even making that extra splash 💦 effort in small ways. This story was awesome and your ability to storytell John your heart comes across can’t wait to VIBE with the TRIBE today on ZOOM.

What a wonderful example of the effects of simple acts of kindness. Thank you for sharing.

Would you mind sharing the date of a podcast that you refer us to? When searching on my phone only the date and title of episode show up. Not the number.

Beautiful story. If everyone performed small acts of kindness every day, imagine how different the world would be.

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