Take What You Need


I walked into the coffee shop and ordered my half-decaf soy latte with one raw sugar, stood next to the barista bar and noticed a black and white picture of hands holding a bouquet of daisies. The sign read, “Take what you need.” At the bottom of the sign were tear off slips of paper which regularly contain phone numbers. Instead, the words truth, caring, respect, empathy, compassion, peace, and strength were available to tear off and take.

take what you need

I immediately felt peace fall over me. Kindness. Generosity. These were handed to me in the form of 2D hands and daisies reaching out to slow me down.

For a moment I thought to tear off peace. After all, I was rushing from work to a night class that would last from 4:00pm – 10:00pm. A long day. Peace is what I need to calm myself.

Then compassion came to mind. I need compassion for myself in what I am handling in life. I also need compassion for people who are navigating 101 alongside me as they travel from location to location with their busy schedules.

Then, I thought of strength. I could use some strength right about now too. As a wife, mom of two spirited children, a teacher of 21 students who have their unique needs, attending an accelerated administrative program… strength. Yes, I welcome you.

Funny as it seems, I received peace, was ready to extend compassion, and acknowledged my need for strength all in a moment provided by a thoughtful sign hung by a stranger. As I waited for my latte, I found myself wondering what the missing tabs were. What had others needed? What had they torn off and tucked in the pocket of their hearts?

What do you need today? What can you provide for others? Can you hang a sign similar to this in your house? In your place of work? In your car?

Thank you, kind person. You gave me a perk I was not expecting.




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