It started with a cup of coffee
Gestures of kindness can be exponential in times of crisis. As we see a rise in depression, many individuals will not seek assistance and suffer in silence. It takes one person to make a difference, and to someone fighting to mentally stay afloat, may find small acts of kindness like a cup of coffee revolutionary.
I never thought a small gesture would mean so much.
In 2021, I experienced the worst depression of my life after I had an emergency hysterectomy. My health was rapidly declining, and I was trying to escape a toxic marriage. I was experiencing postpartum depression and recently got news that my husband was being convicted of a felony and going to prison! What did I get myself into?
The stress got to me and I no longer could feel fear; I became suicidal.
I started attending a Dungeons & Dragons game every Wednesday to keep my mind busy. I was trying to find a reason to live. One day I sat next to this gentleman who gingerly approached me. He helped me with a character I was building, making sure to respect my boundaries at all times. Then at the end of the night, he gave me his copy of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, an expensive book I needed for my character. I was floored by his generosity.
When our next game day rolled around my new friend arrived with not one, but two lattes in his hands. “I got you your drink from Starbucks. It’s the Venti Pistachio Latte with Soy right?” He remembered my coffee order, not from me telling him, but from observing my drink label during our first game.
That drink changed my life!
When I went home I cried for three hours. No one has ever bought me coffee or was thoughtful enough to think of someone other than themselves. That latte made me realize I was trapped and how horrible I let my situation go. I kept the empty latte cup on my desk; for the life of me I couldn’t let it go. It was the only taste of love, freedom, and happiness I have ever felt.
After my first of many lattes, I got a divorce, removed myself from my toxic family, recovered financially, changed my name, finished school with a 4.0, beat homelessness, beat depression, and fell in love with the man that bought me my coffee.
The most powerful gestures of kindness are those that are subtle and of sincerity. Selfless acts can be lifesaving and monumental to those silently suffering. You never know whose life you could possibly change.