“No Problem”: A New Level of Generosity

Fresh bread

It was a cold morning. Sleet, slush, grey – you get it. Yet, my husband and I have a standing Saturday ‘date’. We walk the short distance from our house into town. Once there, we divide the list of errands, then meet back at Starbucks for coffee. And well the weather wasn’t encouraging, we decided to keep our date – we’re Canadians after all, what’s a little spring storm?

My errand was simple, stop by the local bakery for my favourite gluten-free bread then return to meet my husband. As I trudged across the sleepy town, I kept my spirits up with thoughts of freshly baked bread. Still warm in its paper bag. Safe to eat, delicious bread, without the inevitable stomach ache.

It was either my lack of coffee, or the smell of bread baking in the air, that made me overlook a key detail in my plan until I arrived at the bakery. “Closed”. I think I just stood there for a moment letting the disappointment sink in.

“Closed?!” How could I be so stupid? There was another hour until the bakery opened. As the sleet began to soak into my coat, I gathered my strength for the long walk back. Without the paper bag, radiating heat from a fresh loaf of bread.

That’s when I heard the tinkle of the bell above the door and, “Can I help you?”

The storeowner must have seen my pitiful figure peering into the warm glow of his windows. And feeling rather foolish, I relayed my sad tale. He invited me in to warm-up.

“So, what do you need?” The store owner asked. “Just a coupe of loaves? No problem. I can sell you that now if you have cash?”

Oh, happy day! Let me just find my wallet…Ugh! I had left it at home because my husband always carries his wallet. But, I had forgotten to get cash when we split up to run errands.

“No problem,” said the store owner for the second time in less than five minutes. “I recognize you. I know that you are good for the money. Just pay me the next time.”

I gushed my gratitude as he placed the warm loaves in a bag. What a relief! My early morning trek through the elements was not in vain.

As I was zipping up my coat and putting on my soggy gloves, the man spoke up again, “Where are you headed on a morning like this? Can I give you a ride?”

“Seriously?!” I stammered in disbelief.

“Yeah, no problem. I can’t let you leave my store on foot when it’s this cold outside.”

Ten minutes later, I was warming up at Starbucks. My husband could hardly believe it when I relayed the tale.

Since then, we have lost count the many times we have told that story. Always giving glowing praise to the store owner and his bakery.

My point is this: generosity like that leaves a mark. It’s not common, so when you experience it first-hand, it’s hard to forget. It sets an example that is hard to live up to, but one that is worth striving for.

This is more than a story about a nice person doing a good thing. It’s an example of a new level of generosity that all of us can strive for. Imagine a world where everyone was that generous.

*This story has been adapted from a true story experienced by one of our staff’s family members.

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