The Art of Passion


I have fallen utterly in love with Scotland, in great part because of the people. At the St. Andrews Costa Coffee (think UK Starbucks), I am struck by the engagement of the staff I have observed over five consecutive mornings sitting at the same table.

To a person, they seem to enjoy their jobs immensely – from the baristas to the table bussers. They knew me – and my order – by the second day: a turbo-caffeinated confection known as a “Flat White.” But beyond knowing my order, I watched as they engaged each customer differently, often with a “darlin'” in that distinctive Scottish accent.

When the consistency of foam on a latte did not make the grade, the customer said, “Oh, that’s all right.” “No, it’s not!” said the barrista to which the other replied with a grin, “Sir, you must never stand between this woman and the foam on her latte!” The customer, who was willing to take the first version of what the barista produced, was utterly bowled over by her artistry – and said so – which seemed genuinely pleasing to the woman who had such a high standard for her work.

The personal exchange of delight is a rare and wondrous thing in a world of digital “thumbs ups.” Have you been delighted by the efforts of others? Have you let them know?

Expressing delight is another way we can secure the world one conversation at a time.