Have you ever purchased a $40.00 glass of lemonade? A friend of mine recently did, and when he told me the story, I learned a valuable lesson from the ten year old girl who sold it to him.
Turns out my friend went out for a run, enjoying the beautiful weather in Arizona. Towards the end of his run, he came across a young girl selling lemonade at a homemade stand that she had set up on the corner of the road. The young girl started talking to my friend even before he had reached her, enthusiastically asking him whether he wanted to buy a glass of cold lemonade. Amused by her gregarious personality, my friend stopped and talked with the young girl. She had set up the stand in the morning, and had been out all day trying to sell lemonade to anyone who was passing by. My friend explained to the girl that because he was out running, he didn’t have his wallet with him and didn’t have any money to pay her for the lemonade. ”Never mind” she said, “I will give you a glass of lemonade anyway, because you look tired and hot and look like you need one.” Without a second ‘s thought, she poured him a glass of the lemonade, and wished him well on the remainder of his run.
So impressed was my friend with the personality of this young girl, her sweet and caring nature, and the fact that she so effortlessly was willing to help a stranger and give what she could in the circumstance, my friend returned an hour later and handed the young girl two twenty dollar bills. It was only then that he also learned that the girl was raising the money for breast cancer awareness, donating all of her proceeds to women facing the terrible disease. ”Without a question” said my friend, “that was the best glass of lemonade I have ever had, and was worth every penny of the $40 I spent on it.”
I don’t know about you, but after hearing the story I remember a couple of valuable lessons from the example of this young girl. The first is that there is goodness all around us. It is easy to feel gloomy and down these days, with all of the negative and depressing news we get fed daily by the media about the state of the economy, our political environment, and the wars that rage around the world. But beauty, goodness and love exist everywhere, all around us. And the more that we focus on being those qualities ourselves, the more we will see them in others and in the world around us.
The second reminder is that the intention to do good in the world is a powerful force, and when combined with a generous and caring heart, will cause people to tell their friends about your efforts and open up their wallets to support your intention. As I learned from the example of this little ten year old girl, it is strong enough to make a small glass of lemonade taste better than a glass of lemonade ever has, and be worth every penny of the $40 dollars it costs.
Imagining the best,