A few years ago I was sitting inside a coffee shop in downtown Asheville, North Carolina. It was a cold December, and the year had culminated in a series of inexplicable hardships that can only be remembered with profound sadness. The World Coffee Café was unusually crowded on this blistery morning, as the costumers lined up to receive their steaming mugs of overpriced caffeine.
Two men began a conversation as the line shuffled toward the counter. The first man commented to the older gentleman behind him about a book in his hand. He began a preemptive self-endorsement about his expansive collection of books, his recently acquired law degree, and his (apparently) successful career.
The brief conversation was mostly one-sided, loaded with personal pronouns and vain humility. After a few nods and a kind smile, the older gentleman was finally asked, “And what kind of business are you in?”
The two men probably didn’t mean to hijack the crowded room, but a diverse audience absorbed the small talk like a sponge. The older gentlemen responded with a quiet confidence, “I’m in the business of giving people hope.”
And everyone leaned in to hear more…