An afternoon out for four friends at the Mt. Clemens Grill in Michigan turned into a heartwarming encounter with basic human kindness for diner Heather Leigh, and, by association, thousands.
According to Love What Matters, Leigh was out to lunch with three friends, and the restaurant was busy. The group was enjoying good food and conversation when Leigh noticed an elderly woman waiting for a table. She waited, but nobody came. Before long, it became evident to Leigh that the woman was dining alone, and with the restaurant as busy as it was, she didn’t fancy her chances of finding a table.
So we were out to lunch and it was super crowded. There were quite a few groups of people at the door waiting to be…
But there was an unlikely hero in the midst that afternoon: a young man, also a solo diner.
The man, already dining alone, had clearly spotted the elderly woman in the throng of waiting, hungry customers. Perhaps she was conspicuous for not having anybody to chat to while she waited; perhaps the young man also had elderly relatives, and was especially sensitive toward this lonely diner.
As Leigh watched, the young man stood up and walked toward the woman in the queue. Leigh’s table, curious as to what was absorbing their friend’s attention, also turned to watch. Leigh later regaled the entire episode on her Facebook page, because what the young man said surprised them all.
“I have three empty seats at my table,” he began. “Would you like to sit with me so you don’t have to wait?”
He gestured toward his table, and instead of offering his fellow diner a chair far away, prohibiting easy conversation, he pulled out the chair right next to him. “Cue the four of us at our table with our hearts MELTING,” Leigh shared online. “Periodically while we ate, we looked over to see them alternately sitting quietly and chatting with ease.”
Just like old friends, the young solo diner and his impromptu companion settled into their meals and seemed to be utterly comfortable in one another’s company, mutually empowered by the decision to eat together.
“With all the ridiculousness happening in our country,” Leigh concluded, “it was nice to see and be reminded that there are still good people out there among us.”
There’s always room for solitude, and nobody should ever be made to feel diminished by dining alone. Reading Leigh’s story, one Facebook user made the following suggestion: “I would like to see restaurants have a ‘community table,'” they said, “… those eating alone could easily choose to join others who would be eating alone.”
Leigh’s story garnered a lot of attention, and most commenters shared their appreciation for the man in the restaurant’s spontaneous act of kindness. “This young man had no idea he was observed or that his actions were filmed,” one person shared. “He allowed his genuine compassion to move him to action.”
“Kindness doesn’t cost a cent,” said another. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.