Life lesson from a ‘Glorious’ Barista


Every once in a while it’s probably a great idea to sit back and count your blessings, feel grateful, for what you have and stop complaining about what you don’t!

Yesterday, at a crowded coffee kiosk, I first thought that the lone barista at the counter was struggling with the orders. Each customer in line would first seem irritated and then would immediately calm down and order her or his drink with utmost courtesy. In a bit, it struck me that the 20-something barista, Yashwant, was specially-abled – he could neither hear nor speak. He read your lips or you gestured. But he was full of beans! Cheerful and patient. He made me an excellent Americano and served it with the most confident, lively smile I have seen in some time now.

I sat at a table closer to the counter and, over my coffee, I observed Yashwant. He went about his work cheerfully. More customers swamped his kiosk as the hour went by. Kids, hurried shoppers, and young adults on a date. All of them would first shout out their order. And Yashwant would gesture to them, charming them with his endearing smile, that he can’t hear or speak. And then magic happened. The customers piped down, started feeling good and left the counter with their drink or meal __ happy, smiling, carrying back also Yashwant’s spirit and smile with them. I am sure each of them was infected, just as I was, by Yashwant’s inner joy! Yashwant is an Indian name that means ‘glorious’. This barista truly is! It didn’t matter to him that he was not able to hear or speak. It didn’t matter to him that his employer had not cared to put up a tent card at the counter that could have read: “Specially-abled Barista at work here. Makes the world’s best coffee though. Seek your patience and understanding!” What he didn’t have clearly did not matter to him! He was alive and having fun! (PS – my picture here of Yashwant is not the best because he was too shy and did not want me to photograph him. But hope you catch his spirit this morning!)

Yashwant: Truly Glorious!
Yashwant’s brew may have been the most awakening cup of coffee I have ever had. I re-learned a lesson that we all need to remember: “Lamenting over what you don’t have can make Life miserable. Living fully with what you have can, on the other hand, makes Life memorable!” And this lesson, every specially-abled person will teach you. In fact, in my entire Life, I haven’t met a specially-abled who is frustrated. On the other hand, fully endowed folks like us are the one who are complaining about Life, worrying, suffering and lamenting about what isn’t instead of loving what is! In reality, we are the disabled: we are handicapped, we are crippled __ because we have nailed our feet to the ground, we have clipped our own wings, with our imagined miseries.

Maybe we need a Yashwant moment every day! Just to remind us that Life’s worth living despite its inscrutability and its inadequacies. Hope you get inspired by my sharing. Hope you have a beautiful Friday and choose to live, to love and to celebrate what is and what you have today!


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