Adrienne | Week 5: A Story of a Sandwich

We were asked at the beginning of our fellowship to “pick a topic and make a point of it” with these blogs.  We were asked not to “talk about what we ate this week, unless it was really interesting.”  I am going to have to sway from these rules slightly this week, and talk about a sandwich, bear with me through this one.

Tuesday was Valentine’s Day.  We launched our new version of the Free2Work app and website, and it was a beautiful sunny day out.  Tuesdays and Thursdays, Fellows and Staff have the opportunity to work from home.  I am the commuting fellow, and have been living with extended family close to Stanford University.

Stanford University is not only the home to some of the best and brightest pupils…but it also has a great little sandwich shop!  I biked over on Tuesday to grab some lunch and as always, was dumbfounded by the exhaustive list of possibilities.  People queued up behind me, and I kept letting people go on ahead of me, “I’m not ready yet, feel free to jump in front of me *smile*!”  After 10 minutes of deep deliberation, I picked the sandwich that best suits my personality Sometimes I’m a Vegetarian. 

“Anything to drink?”

“Oh no, it’s okay, thank you!” (In my head, I once again revisit the self-aware feeling of not having a paycheck for the next six months, and how each penny spent, will be one less that will get me to the end).

“Any free drink with that?”

(In my head, “Huh?  Pardon me?”) “Oh no, it’s okay, but thank you *smile*.”

“Everything has been taken care of, Happy Valentines Day *smile*.”  … He had just given me my entire lunch for free!

This one small act of kindness changed my entire perspective of the day.  I was happier; I was more motivated; I wanted to pay that act of kindness forward.  I biked home, worked on my platforms in the sunshine, reminded my loved-ones how much they mean to me, and thought about what I will do to make a difference.  I dove into work that was needed on the fellow’s six-month projects, I reminded myself of the bigger picture, and how each small act of kindness can make the world of a difference.  How incredible a single sandwich can be to completely change the attitude of an individual.  What if everyone had received a free sandwich?  What would the attitude be if we were all having a good day?  What kind of societal change could occur then?  Be thankful and grateful for the small things, and build from the positive attitudes around you.  I know one of my greatest successes here with Not For Sale has been because I am lucky to be surrounded by an incredible group of passionate and dedicated people.  Their hope and positive attitudes, continuously helps build my own hope and positive attitude.  Be that positive attitude in society and who knows who around you will pick up on it, and maybe it will change their perspective of the day.


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