Tonight, at a crowded Starbucks in Queen Anne I met a quiet, elderly man named Don. He blessed me when I sneezed unexpectedly next to him saying simply, “when the spirit moves,” sparking a conversation I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Don is the sort of person that looks at you and sees you with calm eyes, unaffected and unhindered by the ever-frantic side-effect of living in a digital world that I see in myself and my peers. He’s the sort of person that speaks to you with that wise, lilting voice that demonstrates to you a world of experience you can’t even begin to know.
Don asked me where I was headed, what I want to be when I grow up, and for the first time in a long time I told him simply, “I just don’t know right now.” He responded with the most comforting “Sweetheart, you are just at your beginning.”
Don shared with me stories of the time he walked with John F. Kennedy through the campus of Whitworth University, only a little college at the time. To Don, knowing Kennedy did not seem like something to be touted, to boost clout or to garner esteem but rather the purest statement of friendship.
Don told me about what it means to live nobly and with purpose, how Lincoln acted admirably in the face of a torn country, and why politics should be treated as a higher calling, meant only for those who will hold their positions carefully, with nobility and respect, and always seeking the greater good of a people, regardless of station or party.
Don said that the greatest thing a person can do in this life is serve people, love others, and walk forward daily with dignity. Thank goodness for calm eyes and gentle hearts…where would we be without them?