some things never change


My wife usually makes coffee in the morning.

But she had an early morning engagement today, and I was planning to leave the house early.

I went to our local Dunkin‘ Donuts to get two coffees to go.

The line was moving too slowly for me. I felt inpatient.

Then I realized what was holding it up.

Two kids were in front of me, obviously brother and sister on their way to school. They were clearly minority group kids. My neighborhood is mostly minority.

They were endearing. The boy, who was stocky and had spiky jet black hair, was about eight, his sister about six.

Once I realized the reason for the holdup, I became pleasantly amused.

The boy had a few bills in his hand. They were asking how much a doughnut cost, what was the price of a chocolate or a glazed doughnut versus a sprinkled one, and so forth.

The boy kept checking to make sure he had enough money. For both him and his sister. He was the responsible party.

The young woman behind the counter was very patient with them.

Why are such little vignettes, such tableaux, so emotionally satisfying and fortifying, so uplifting?

Because they remind us what really counts in life. And to stop and notice.

And that, thank God, some things never change.


— Roger W. Smith

   November 6, 2017









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