The Empty Seat

As I once entered a wedding hall and scanned from side to side for an open seat, I spotted one a distance away at which several people I knew were seated. “That’s perfect,” I thought to myself, “I’ll be able to catch up with a lot of friends.”

Yet, at the very moment I reached the table, so did another woman. She too had seen the empty seat and planned on taking it. Although I did not know this lady too well, we had always said hello whenever we saw each other and knew each other’s names. “Oh, it’s no problem at all!” I said. “Please take this seat. There are plenty of other places I can find.”

Although I genuinely meant this, the woman without batting an eyelash turned to me and said, “I have an idea. How about neither of us sit here. I have seen you around many times and would really love to get to know you better. Let’s go sit somewhere else together and catch up.” Agreeing to join her at a different table, we went on to have a beautiful time. We had such a nice and deep conversation and discovered that we had much in common. Now, she is one of my close friends.

Here was someone who was on the lookout to make someone else feel appreciated and valued, and she did just that. I wouldn’t have faulted her one bit for taking the seat. But instead, she turned the tables around and realized that here was a perfect opportunity to think not about herself, but about someone else. She saw beyond what many others would have overlooked and seized the moment to reach out. What a beautiful attitude and outlook. ~ Rebbetzin Chana Silver

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