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What Makes You Smile?

What a grand showing at KK today with 144 guests!

At one point, perhaps 25 people were waiting outside and a couple unsuspectingly walks up -- they are quite taken aback by the Karma Kitchen ideal of paying forward and can't believe that everyone in the restaurant was trusted to do that.  They put their name on the waitlist.  About ten minutes later, in the middle of the crowd, he comes up to me and tucks away a crumpled up twenty-dollar bill in my hands, gives me a hug and whispers in my ear, "We have to rush today but just wanted to pay forward for someone anyways."  Not only was I touched, but even all those around us.
Right after, Katie ended up singing a remarkable song with her guitar, that hold the whole restaurant chanting, "You and I are one."  What a powerful vibe.  It is somehow in those unchoreographed moments of reflection that the power of all this becomes so evident.  In one corner of the restaurant are seniors who will pay from meager social security checks; in another are students, and professionals, and entrepreneurs (and parents of volunteers :)).  Such diversity.  Yesterday, we even had a co-founder of PayPal amongst us, for the first time.  At the door, after understanding the spirit of KK, he tells us: "You wouldn't believe it, but I just received an act of generosity!  I was taking the bus here and I didn't have any change except fresh twenties from the ATM.  The woman behind me just paid for me, without saying anything.  I was so taken back.  Then I thought of giving her a twenty as a thank-you but before that she had already left."  He ate at KK, smiled big, and deepened his resolve to carry forward the spirit.
Servers asked guests to reflect on what makes them smile ... and guests beautifully wrote things like: chasing my pets around the house; playing music for people; seeing the people I love, even after a long time; connecting with community; Mango Lassis; sunday conversations; Muppets; sitting with my wife; seeing other people healthy and happy; all the people around me right now; new places, new faces; thunder and lightning; freckles on friends; humans; Karma Kitchen! sitting on the ghats of the ganges in Varanasi; a good meal with new friends; knowing that everything will be o-k; teddy bears; kissing roses; warm sun; my brother and my mom; moments of sharing.
Thank you all, for creating such a beautiful context, to have these ripples spread in infinite directions.

--Maitre-D :) on Nov 10, 2011

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