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  • Jyoti Grewal

Coffee with a Shot of Inclusion

This morning my husband shared a story he recently read. A hearing-impaired individual regularly visited his favorite coffee shop and ordered his coffee by typing his order into his phone and showing it to the barista. He came in one day to find that one of the baristas had decided to learn American Sign Language. Her reason? She wanted him to have the same experience as everyone else.

My heart swelled at the kindness and thoughtfulness this young girl had shown to her customer. It made me so proud and thankful to her parents. This act of empathy, humanity and inclusion speaks volumes about this child’s upbringing. One act of kindness changed the whole perspective of this hearing-impaired gentleman. Imagine how it must have made him feel!

I remember having a conversation with my doctor about my children’s schooling. She told me it doesn’t matter what your children grow to be, your most important job is to make sure they grow up to be good humans. Humanity is a learned behavior. Our children are watching how we react to the homeless man in front of Wal-Mart or how we treat the elderly woman who is a bit too slow when crossing the street. They watch how we respond to the inconvenient knock from a salesperson during dinnertime. Those eyes also watch when we slow down and help an injured rabbit in the middle of the street or allow someone to go ahead of us in a grocery line. These random and seemingly small acts of kindness compile and form the mountain of values in our children’s hearts.

My hope for our children is that they become like the barista in the story -individuals who are aware of the struggles of others and willing to walk the few extra steps to make the world just a little bit kinder.

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