An elderly woman unfamiliar with Starbucks and her moderately mentally impaired son wait in line at Starbucks. The son starts barreling his mother with questions. Both are overwhelmed with the abundance of choices and appear baffled. The coffee barrista is inundated making drinks and the cashier can barely keep up with the traffic. I offer to help and provide a lengthy discussion of the options. Without experience, ordering from Starbucks is like trying to communicate in a foreign language: tall means small, grande means medium, and vente means large.
Once I have explained all the options and their selections are decided, I place the order for them. The impaired gentleman sips his grande caramel Frappachino and munches his chocolate chip cookie with glee and turns to me and says, "Thank you so much, you are the nicest lady I have ever met." His mother also bestows an emphatic thank you and I leave with a giant smile on my face.
Who gained the most in this transaction? Although it is true that the individuals asking for help gained the information they sought and the satisfaction with their purchase, the greater gain was on the part of the giver. I as the giver gained the most. A rush of positive feelings enveloped me and new energy found its way into my steps. I gained the satisfaction of knowing I helped someone which gave me the opportunity to feel good about myself. I would have liked to thank them for their gift of allowing me the chance to help.