On Saturday morning, a food-service worker was having a really tough morning. The shift supervisor barked orders, made mountains out of what seemed like molehills with most of the ire directed at one particular worker. The worker was a bit older, maybe even the age of a young grandmother — struggling with the day and trying to make the most out of the holiday season.

Nothing she did was right on this morning. Tears came to her eyes. She wanted to quit her job on the spot.

Two diners among the many inside the small eatery watched it unfold. Their bill came to less than $20. One of them handed the sweet woman having a bad day $50. She looked at it, then looked at the two diners walking swiftly from the eatery. Again tears came to her eyes after receiving what certainly was going to be her biggest tip of the day. “Merry Christmas,” one diner said before exiting.

The big tip likely won’t solve all of that woman’s problems, but maybe, just maybe it made her day a bit better. Small acts of kindness can go so far. And it makes us all wonder that in this season of giving and love and peace when people give and give and give more of themselves, why can’t it span throughout the year?

Watch TV and see stories of secret Santas who hand out $100 bills to those who are clearly in need. Again, the $100 will not pay the electric bill for a year, but it will restore the faith in humanity in a world that seems to be so inhumane in so many ways.

Oh, heck, maybe we are just dreaming here that the spirit we show toward our fellow man and woman could become a year-round thing. Maybe the world was like that at some point in our history, but certainly not now. There is way too much that divides us and way too many people ready to seize on those divisions to keep it so. 

Christmas Day is one week from today and there will be the fair share of Negative Nancys out there trying to dampen the spirit. When they do — and they will — don’t get caught up in it. Don’t let their words, views or actions dampen your spirit of this most wonderful time of year. Because it is such a wonderful time of year.

Come January, it will start another session of the state Legislature and elections are on the horizon. Oh, we will be at each others’ throats before you know it. Sad. True.

So take advantage of this time of year. If you have more than you need, give it away, because there are so many people in need and it just makes the heart feel better to give. Yes, it’s cliché to repeat, “it feels so much better to give then receive…” but it is so true.

And maybe one can learn from the actions of those two unidentified diners who at least tried to put tears of joy on the face that spewed tears of hurt, frustration, anger and giving up. Who knows, maybe someone else in that restaurant saw what happened and did the same, spurred on by even the slightest act of kindness.

What a world this could be if only we tried more than for a few weeks each December.

That would be but a dream. A good dream, however.

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