By Mike Pinto, Principal, James Cole Elementary School
There are many different varieties of donuts, but when offered a chance this summer to have a square donut, I was all in. Two friends took me to the establishment that made the square donuts one morning when we were out of town at a conference. One of my friends was a hearty veteran on the square donut front. The other, like me, was a rookie to the square donut experience. This experience included traveling there in the car, navigating the parking lot, and getting from that location to our eventual destination on a July morning. After indulging in two square donuts apiece, we jumped in the car and headed out toward the street. We realized very quickly that we were “Going up the down staircase”. We were headed the wrong direction but were still in the parking lot and not blocking the entrance from the road. We realized we were headed the wrong way but also realized that our best bet at that point was to stay clear of the entrance and simply wait for our moment to exit to the road using the entrance. As we sat there and waited, a car pulled into the entrance and the driver honked her horn and held up her hand like “What are you doing?” Obviously we were pointed the wrong direction but we were not in the way of the lady and not causing her any grief except maybe the fact that she had to see our car whose nose was pointed in the wrong direction. She simply could have continued in, unimpeded, and gone to get her dozen square donuts. But she chose to become frustrated and chose to involve herself somewhere she didn’t need to. What happened at that moment was perfect. All three of us at the same time, without any words between us, simply smiled really big and waved vigorously at her like she was our best friend. At that point she just turned away and continued driving forward. All three of us laughed, we pulled out onto the road, and were on our way.
There will be moments this year where you see someone headed the wrong way out of the donut shop. When those moments occur, I hope you choose not to involve yourself if this person’s situation does not interfere with you. If it does, let’s hope that you have empathy and realization that most likely that person didn’t choose to be headed the wrong way and that at some point soon, you will find yourself in a similar light and be conscioius of how you would want to be treated. And if you are headed the wrong way out of the donut shop try to minimize the stress on others, but sometimes you just may have to put a big grin on your face and wave feverishly. Because killing someone with kindness works in most situations. And if you ever get a chance to have a square donut, do. They’re pretty good.