There is a professor, whom I have not had, but I will try my hardest to before I leave campus. He speaks with an accent that I cannot identify, but there are no malicious thoughts that pour from it. Several times a week he will bring in chocolates or donuts or the like and pass them out, or leave them for people to indulge in. Upon asking why he did so, the man answered,
“I’m collecting favors.”
He of course laughed about it, and as I said, he is in no way bitter about life. But when asked for a second time his answer was a little different.
“You cannot possibly be having a bad day when there is chocolate.”
And I appreciate that. I may not always take what is offered, but I can say that they way that he cares about the wellbeing of the office, the way that he seems so chipper all the time, that infectious spirit makes all the difference.
I remember watching a video interview of a woman who was in a camp during the holocaust, talking about how her mother was able to bring two pieces of chocolate to the camp for her and how she ended up giving her piece to a pregnant woman after she birthed her child. The woman was later greeted in life by that very same child who then in turn gave her a piece of chocolate. I remember watching intently when the woman said her mother told her that she would save the chocolate for a moment when they really felt hopeless.
It would seem that perhaps there are a million reasons in which to bring chocolate into a moment: to regain hope, strength, to lighten the mood or to bring joy to someone. But I think it is the act of giving with the intention of making someone smile that has the greatest meaning.