You’ll never know the full impact you have on someone’s life

At a busy point in my local city some depressing, rainy, typically English winter afternoon, I was waiting for my friend to light up when I saw a guy selling magazines on the street (it was the Big Issue, a magazine empowering people to beat homelessness). He had a coffee in his hand, selling this magazine, on a cold day, and my heart went out to him.

At the time I was so low, broke, so lost and so confused about my life and where it was headed. I was so empty and downcast, life always seemed such an uphill struggle. I’d just ended a relationship with someone (and as it turns out, it was an emotionally abusive one) so I wasn’t feeling that great about myself either.

Anyway, the magazine seller aimed his empty cup at the bin and missed — and who should walk past, but some fancy pants guy, in his fine coat, beanie and cool dreadlocks. The perfect image of someone far removed from what me or that magazine guy must be going through.

The following moment altered the course of my life forever.

Before that coffee cup could hit the ground, this passer-by catches it against the bin, throws it in and walks on. On he walks, and that is all.

It may not mean that much to most, but in a single instant I decided that the world is full of good people, and it’s a world worth fighting for. This passer-by, who I call coffee cup man, through a simple act, moved me to my core and he’ll never know that he altered the course of my life. He never complained, demanded an apology, made a scene or showed any hate or malcontent. He was just being authentic and living his dharma.

It’s because of him that I live by mine. You’ll never know the profound impact you’ll ever have on someone’s life, so just get out there and be yourself. You may never get feedback on how valued you are but you’ll never know just who, or how many hold you so dearly.

Coffee cup man, wherever you are, thank you for saving my life.