More Than Manners

Today’s mindfulness story is courtesy of my 6 year old stepson, Courtney Meisner. Courtney is a “tornado wrapped up in a hurricane,” as my mother-in-law likes to say. He enjoys eating sprinkled donuts on Saturdays after basketball games, wrestling with our pup, Snoozer, and collecting Pokémon cards that can be found inside of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal boxes. His favorite store is Target and he’s one of the happiest people I know.

This past weekend, Tod and I took Courtney to Shakey’s. I can’t get much further in this story than pausing for a flashback to 1986 when Grandma Blatt would take my sister and I to Shakey’s in Chicago. It wasn’t until I moved to Auburn, AL in 2015 that I realized this favorite restaurant of my childhood still existed!

Back to the story…we arrived at Shakey’s and I placed our dinner order while Tod and Courtney headed to the game area to purchase tokens and warm up for hoop shoot and ski-ball. A relatively “picky eater,” I opted for the salad bar (which, due to the broccoli, cottage cheese and red onions, I had pre-approved during a previous visit) while Tod had pizza and Courtney wanted the chicken tenders. For the next 20 minutes, we played games and stuffed tickets into my overflowing purse. When the food arrived and I returned from the salad bar to join the boys in our booth, I realized the large pieces of green pepper and onion made it rather difficult to eat. “Shoot, I should have gotten a knife,” I said.

A moment later, Courtney, sitting next to me and on the inside of the booth asked to get out. I got up and he headed toward the drink machines. A minute or so later, he returned, knife in hand, and said “a nice person went and got this for you.”

My heart fluttered! “What a sweet gentleman you are!!” I told him. He sat down with a smile. His thoughtfulness made my day and was something I had to share.

The Lesson

How well do you listen? Are you cruising through life, reacting to what happens? Or are you attentive to your surroundings, taking notice of the people around you and what they might need?

Apply it to Your Life

Today, listen to what someone is telling you and choose one thing to ask them about later. Send a text or ask in person, “how was that interview you had?” “What did your mom say about your new boyfriend?”


Dear God, help me to be aware of others’ needs and not just my own. Please give me ears to listen and eyes to see ways that I can bring joy to someone else. Amen.