In a soul-baring post for The Mighty, Bekah Georgy opens our eyes to the power of one little word with her gripping letter to the Starbucks barista who served her that day.
She opens in writing,
You didn’t know me and you didn’t know my story. Most importantly, you probably didn’t know writing the simple word “smile” on my order would change my day for the better. When you look at me, you might assume I’m happy, bubbly, outgoing and full of life. But you don’t really see the complete me.”
Bekah continues to share that she typically wears a plastic smile that is really just used to mask her brokenness inside.
“You wouldn’t know this girl had so much self-hate, she starved herself for over half her young life. Or that she’s tried to end her own life five times. I’m guessing you didn’t know these past few weeks, and that day particularly, had been extremely hard. You were just going about your job, unaware that writing a minuscule word on my drink would change my day and possibly my life.”
So many of us go about our lives with a happy-go-lucky, Barbie-girl exterior designed to please the public while we’re really rotting inside. But how did this particular barista know that Bekah’s smile wasn’t real?
“Maybe you wrote “smile” on my drink because you saw the feeding tube,” she wrote. “Or maybe you could see past my fake smile because you’ve been where I am. Either way, I’m grateful. You didn’t have to make my order special. You could have treated me like another annoying customer. But you took that extra second to add some positivity to a life that’s been filled with so much negative lately.”
What that barista didn’t know is that prior to her coffee run, Bekah’s day consisted of a dreadful doctor’s appointment and an equally awful therapy session.
“I was filled with hopelessness, and my suicidal thoughts were getting worse,” she shared.
What that barista didn’t know is that often her anorexia gets so bad that coffee is the only thing she can consume. She was even scared to have coffee that day if it weren’t for that one word she saw scrawled on her cup.
“If I hadn’t encountered that cup, I could have done more damage to myself that night. When I read that word, I couldn’t help but smile, literally.”
Wow. It’s amazing how we can so easily underestimate the power of a simple kind gesture, but we never know when it could be the difference between life or death for someone.
As beautifully summed up by Bekah, “A simple act of kindness can mean the world to someone. It can provide hope for the hopeless.”
You see, that barista didn’t know her story, but she didn’t have to. She knew the power of humanity, of showing love to a stranger, and of doing the little things that could make a big difference.
Now Bekah plans to continue to “pass this hope along” by sharing it with the world. Share Bekah’s inspiring story with your friends to help us spread her word of hope like wildfire.
And hey, while you’re at it, how about you go and make someone smile today. 😉