Like many during this virus outbreak, I attempt to maintain some sense of normalcy. My job takes me on the road. It is safe to say that I know where nearly every café, Starbucks, and Dunkin’ are within a thirty-mile radius. I often use these stops to take a break, sit down, have a bite to eat/drink, and get some work done between appointments. However, the coronavirus took that option away sadly, so I hit up the drive thrus instead.
Today I sat in line at Starbucks mentally reciting the recipe to my Reddit Discovery of the chocolate chip cold brew. (Look it up. You won’t regret it.) I pull up to pay at the window. The barista sticks their head out and says, “The person in front of you paid for you.”
Well, I’ll be damned. Someone dished out eleven bucks on my Starbucks order in an effort to pay it forward. Not to be outdone, I asked the barista to let me pay for the person behind me. She scanned my app. Her coworker chimed in from behind her, “You just paid for an ER nurse. She will really appreciate it.”
I could only mutter to them, “It’s the least I can do” before pulling off with my wrap and venti cold brew in hand. Getting ready to turn back onto the highway, I questioned that very series of events between random strangers. A random person pays for me. A kind gesture nonetheless. Then, on a whim, I decide to do the same.
However, I come to find out the person behind me is an individual putting their life on the line during a worldwide pandemic. That person turned out to be someone getting ready for a 12-hour shift during some of the most stressful times that our healthcare system has ever faced. As they were probably getting ready to go to work, I may have just started off their shift just right.
Now, it may have just been a coincidence. There very well could be some sort of higher power at work. As a mental health counselor, I often feel like I use a scientific approach to helping people figure out the answers to life’s biggest questions. I assist them with looking deeper into their hearts, minds, and feelings. I do the same in developing my own insight.
On the other hand, I also learned early on that not everything will have an answer. There are simply some experiences in life that occur without explanation. Sometimes answering the question will merely raise many more. Other times we might not want to know the answer. In the end, it is often better to accept the event rather than to question its existence.
-The Caring Counselor