Lessons from Feast of the Fishes

Lessons from Feast of the Fishes

Despite a nasty customer, impatient, insulting just in front of me in the seafood line at this upscale market, Ben gave me a smile. “So, maybe you can give me some advice,”I started, “I need to get clams and shrimp for a good paella and two small steamed lobsters.” Always pleasant, he continued as if nothing happened, but I noticed. “These are the best shrimp from the Gulf, and they’re on sale. Come back in 10 minutes for the lobsters. We can steam them for you.” he recommended always with a smile. Trying to be pleasant and make up for the haughty Christmas eve rudeness I had witnessed, I added, “So..what are your holiday plans, Ben?” He smiled weakly – “Going to get out of here, but got nowhere to go.” My heart sank with his words. I returned in 10 minutes to pick up the lobsters with a ten dollar bill. “In Italy we say, Patience is the virtue of the strong, and you demonstrated your virtue today, Ben. Have a blessed holiday. I pushed the ten dollar bill in his hand with my heart wishing him more strength and happiness even amid his solitude. “God Bless, m’aam…”

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