Coffee and Karma

The Cyber CafeThis semester, I enrolled for an 8:30 class every day of the week. Some would call that crazy, others would call it brave. Either way, it’s tiring. And to stall the eventual need for a nap that comes with 8:30 class territory, I usually stop by Dominican’s Cyber Cafe to grab a cup of coffee before heading to the dreaded 8:30 class. This is something that is a ritual for me, and usually all that happens is that I sleepily mumble the kind of coffee I poured for myself and go on about my day, soon to forget about the exchange at all. But one day, a couple weeks ago, I witnessed something that I think really embodies the type of people that Dominican students can be.

As I was standing in line for my morning cup of coffee, there was another girl in front of me doing the same exact thing. The woman at the register pointed her out and told her that she didn’t  have to wait in line because her coffee was already paid for. Instead of a look of shock, which is what I expected to find when I turned around, she responded with “Not again!” And in that moment my heart was warmed with the fact that not only had someone paid for her coffee, but someone had done it before, too. It’s a subtle kindness that I didn’t realize was present on Dominican’s campus, but was not surprised to find that it did.

And instead of walking away like I think that most people would have done, their coffee paid for and all, she turned around and told me that she was going to pay for my coffee. She said that this happened to her all the time, and all she wanted to do was the same thing for someone else. Pay it forward, so to speak. I was so astounded with the girl’s kindness and need to do what others had done for her, that I absolutely refused to allow her to buy my coffee and the woman at the register agreed that she should just accept the gift and go on to class.

All-in-all, as I sat in class minutes later, coffee in hand, my day brightened by the idea that there are people on Dominican’s campus (even at 8:30 in the morning) that are so full of selflessness and giving that they not only not only paid for someone’s coffee once, but twice. In light of Thanksgiving, I thought that the idea of continuously giving back to the Dominican University community was embodied by this small act of kindness. As we approach Thanksgiving and go home to our families for maybe the first time all semester, we should all share this anonymous person’s kindness in giving others even the smallest of things to be happy and grateful for.

pay it forward, community, Cyber Cafe, coffee, kindness