“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.” Isaac Asimov
I love this story by Paul Coelho! In the current environment we all live in, we can be overwhelmed by prejudice, fear and judgment; but at the end of the day, it is up to each of us, to step back and see life through open minds, souls and hearts and in doing so, we may be surprised what we discover.
This story is from a restaurant at a German University.
A red-haired student, and undeniably German takes her tray and sits down at her table. She then realizes she has forgotten her cutlery and gets up again to pick it up.
Coming back, she sees with astonishment that a black man, possibly sub-Saharan by his appearance, is sitting there and is eating from her tray.
Straight away, the young woman feels stressed and shocked. But immediately changes her thought and presumes that the African is not familiar with European customs concerning private property and privacy. She also takes into consideration that perhaps he does not have enough money to pay for his meal.
In any case, she decides to sit in front of the guy and to smile at him in a friendly manner. The African responds with another dazzling smile.The German girl starts to help herself; sharing the food with the black man with genuine pleasure and courtesy.
And so, he took the salad, she ate the soup, both took their share of the stew, one took care of the yoghurt and the other of the piece of fruit,
All this peppered with numerous refined smiles – timid from the man and smoothly, encouraging and kind by the girl;
They eat up their lunch.
The German girl gets up to get a coffee.
On her way back, it is then that she discovers, on the table behind the black man, her coat placed on the back of a chair ……..and her food tray untouched.”
What would you do?
36 thoughts on “Stay Open”
Reminds me of the storey Stephen Covey tells of people being frustrated by a man “letting” his kids play up in a busy train. The tension is building. A fellow passenger finally leans over to the father and says a word to him about his kids being so noisy etc. The father says sorry and shares that his wife, their mother, has just died and he does not know what to say to their children.
Kind of puts things into perspective when you bother to stop and consider an alternative viewpoint – not projection our beliefs onto others, labelling them accordingly.
That is a great story! And when we come from a different perspective we see so much more. Thankyou lovely Michael 💚
What a great lesson! Thank you Karen for this. If the man is still there I would share from the tray untouched, and of course apologize. If he’s not there I would try to share with someone else.
It is a great lesson Nico and I think we would all feel like sharing after that. 🙏🏻
haha Karen, oh my! Call him back and share my tray with him too?
This reminds me of the many times I feel strongly that I’m right about something, only to learn that I am so very wrong. I always kick myself for that and feel super embarrassed. I love those people who easily laugh at their mistakes. ❤
I know it’s a story you could see happening! i cringed, just thinking about it. We just have to laugh and remember for next time ha 💕
Oh, wow, great story! I’d snatch up my tray and go for sharing round two!
I think I would too Eliza, in fact, let’s share with the whole restaurant ha 💚💕
What a wonderful stone, Karen! I would invite him to share my food, like he had allowed me to share his. And I would smile 😄
It is a great reminder Helen. I loved sharing it today. It makes us all want to do more 💚🙏🏻
A great story, indeed! This definitely made me laugh! I could totally see myself doing this!
I’m not sure what I would do afterward. Probably remove my coat and give him the tray and say thank you for being so friendly to me. 🙂
Yes I think we would all want to show our gratitude towards someone who is so generous with a stranger! It’s a good story to share 💕💚
Great story. He’s hungry. I would let him eat, in peace.
Yes I’m not sure I would have the courage to sit in front of a stranger and start eating the food, even if I thought it was mine! 😜
Great story. It’s rich in many perspectives and lessons, as only Paulo Coelho can do. There is much to reflect on here. Thank you!
Paul Coelho is the king of story telling! Thankyou Carrie. 💚
Fabulous story, Karen, and one that I will carry with me throughout the day. So important to get a fresh angle on things from time to time–those trusty ‘ruts’ we all tend to slide into can grow awfully deep and entirely too comfortable. 😉
Yes well said Lori. To stay open to each unique moment. 💕
Such a rich story, full of cultural assumptions. It does make me think, Karen 💛
I would be confused, rather than stressed or shocked. I’d probably let it go and let him eat. Then perhaps I would have noticed my own tray! 😉
Yes a good lesson to pause before we react in life, so we can see positive solutions! Thanks Val 💕
Thank you for sharing this touching story, Karen. What a wonderful example of two lives enriched as a result of a mistake.
Yes so true. Thankyou Joan 🙏🏻
Aw man, talk about the Universe smiling:). I inadvertently “steal” grocery carts all too often while in the store, thinking they’re mine. I think it’s the Universe teaching the impatient one patience.
Ha yes I have done that too and I’m sure it’s teaching us something! Thanks Kristine 💕
Apologize for my error. Then offer to share my tray to make his meal complete.
Yes I think I would do the same Alan, and sharing always creates abundance. Thanks 🙏🏻
And a blessed Easter, Karen, to you and your family.
You too Alan. I love Easter. Blessings to you and your family 🙏🏻
Wow, thanks for sharing this story Karen.
Even if I thought the food was mine I would leave him in peace and look the other way.
Yes me too Sawsan. It’s an interesting story to think about. Thankyou 💚💕
I would take a look at the surroundings and, like Val, likely see my coat and tray. But how much fun would it be to sit and share with the ‘stranger?’ I have no problems eating alone in a restaurant (or at home), but food is meant to be shared. It would be too fun to sit down and chat with this guy – he sounds like a winner! 😀
He is definitely a winner and it would be an experience we wouldn’t forget. I like your attitude Bela 😀💚
Hey, I’m all about spreading da Aloha 😉 Then I come home and chill. Alone. In the garden. With Chris too, but he’s super quiet. 😉 xoxo
Love it, I was thinking that she had sat at the wrong table and was feeling uncomfortable for the man and and how kind he was. Brilliant story.
Yes it definitely surprised me too! Such a good reminder. Thankyou Kath 🙏🏻💕