Man sits alone in public restaurant

Another Story One Seat Over: Hope is a Dangerous Thing

Another Story One Seat Over: Hope is a Dangerous Thing

by Bill High

I just asked her to tell me her story.

It was a slow Tuesday night in the airport, courtesy of COVID. The tables were mostly empty, but I wanted a meal before my flight. She showed me swiftly to my seat and bopped around with an energy unbecoming of the quiet airport. The twinkle in her eyes showed.

And the story came out. She’d been working in the restaurant industry for nearly 20 years, but a string of bad vice presidents had soured her. She’d missed her last few bonuses—not because of her own performance but theirs. So she was going back to school. No more restaurants.

Maybe counseling. Maybe working for a nonprofit. She wanted to help people. She was quick and articulate, and she promised that she’d get it worked out. If I had a job to offer her, I would’ve offered it.

She told me about her son. He was 14 and he’d watched every single episode of American Horror Story. He was struggling. She didn’t know if there was a connection. She saw that I had a Bible app open on my computer and she shook her head in agreement—“That’s what keeps me going.”

I gave her the name of a nonprofit to check out, and she wrote it down and was off to the next customer. The bill came. I doubled my tip and ran off to catch my plane.

Red says it in The Shawshank Redemption, “Hope is a dangerous thing.” That’s the quote everyone remembers. Perhaps there’s some truth to it.

But later, on the outside, Andy tells Red, “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things.” Yes, indeed it is. Hope is a wonderful thing.



Photo by Drew Coffman on Unsplash

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Published February 5, 2021

Topics: Lessons with Bill


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