A man and his friend were in a coffee shop in beautiful Venice, Italy.
As they sipped their coffee in a leisurely manner, they saw a man enter the café and sit at the table next to theirs. He beckoned to the waiter and said, “Two cups of coffee, please. One of them there on the wall.”
Somewhat intrigued, the man and his friend watched as the waiter served him one cup of coffee and was paid for two. After he had the coffee and left, the waiter walked over to the large wall and stuck a note there that said, “A cup of coffee.”
Puzzled, the man and his friend finished their coffee, paid for it and went on their way.
A few days passed and they happened to visit the coffee shop again. They ordered their coffee and while they were enjoying it, they saw a poor man walk in. He took a seat and requested the waiter, “One cup of coffee from the wall, please.”
The waiter brought him his coffee. The man enjoyed it and left, without paying.
The man and his friend found this really interesting and as they watched, the waiter walked to the wall, took off one of the notes and scrunched it, and threw it into the trash can.
Suddenly it dawned on the two customers that this was the town’s community’s unique way of being kind to those who could not afford to pay for their coffee. Touched and somewhat tearful, they left, their hearts full.
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Just imagine! A poor person could walk into the coffee shop without feeling embarrassed—simply because someone had been compassionate enough to pay for his cup of coffee. He had no idea who it was, and he didn’t need to feel bad about it. All he had to do was look at the wall, place his order, enjoy his coffee and walk out with dignity.
What a beautiful gesture by the community. What a wonderful tradition!
And perhaps, the most beautiful wall in the world, eh?
Why not treat someone to a cup of coffee or a meal today?
#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.