His Feather

“A feather is a delicate thing when removed from a bird yet it carries the bird anywhere in the world.”

-Sudanese proverb

For a couple of months now, I have been volunteering at a place called Global Gifts (Check out the website: http://www.globalgiftsft.com/ !) This is a nonprofit shop that sells fair trade, artisan goods from underdeveloped nations. Normally volunteering here is fun and spontaneously fast-paced. I usually work the cash register, which is surprisingly one of my favorite things ever, and I leave most of the small talk with the customers to some of the other volunteers/workers.

However, today was a little different. My shift was dragging on forever (the weather kept going in and out of rain), I was extra tired, and I had already memorized most of the items in the store, leaving me fiddling with my thumbs waiting for a customer to walk in the do0r. Then, an older man walked in, approached me somewhat in distress, and asked me if we still sold the bracelets that he wore on his wrist. Having just looked around the store for hours, I walked him to the bracelets that he requested. What was different about this customer was that he told me his story; he told me that he suffered from PTSD from being in the war and that he used to always pick at the skin around his nails because of it until he found these bracelets (beautiful prayer bracelets).

After he spent a few minutes picking out the perfect ones, he came to the register, checked out, and thanked us profusely for still selling these bracelets. The thing that really struck me about this sale was that something so small could have such an impact on someone; something at the store that I volunteer at became something so special to someone suffering. It’s the realizations like that in life that can be so encouraging.

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