Recently, I sat by myself at the only table in a bakery, eating a cupcake and crying. Not just a few tears here and there. I was actively suppressing sobs as a river of tears ran down my face, keeping pace with the rain outside.
Customers entered and exited the bakery, picking up cakes, placing orders, buying yummy-looking pastries. The two clerks kept busy helping them as they came in and out. When I was the only one who remained, they seemed to find other work to do.
At least ten other people had been in the same small space with me, and not a single one asked me if I was okay. I tried to smile through it when I bought the first cupcake, then the second, and even once I’d finished those and moved on to a package of chocolate caramel turtle cookies.
Now, I realize I could have been crying for any number of reasons, but it makes me wonder how my day might have changed if someone would have cared enough to ask. I at least had ways of coping with my disappointment and also loved ones to help brighten my mood.
Those other people did not know this, however. It begs the question: would someone else’s day–or even life–change for the better if only a person stopped to ask if they were okay?