A Reflection In The Mirror
When you are working out daily with a goal in mind to lose weight, it's hard to ever see a change. Though you are the one pushing your body and going the extra mile, you never see a difference. Why? Because you are the one constantly looking in the mirror, and the mirror only shows what we hope not to see.
However, there are those who stay the course - those that jot down their change in weight and stay persistent. A month in they are only down 10 pounds, but 6 months in they are down 60. While there was no increase from month to month, persistence paid off. A sizable difference is now evident. The individual can now see the change that the day to day grind brings.
The numbers won't lie to you - that is why it's important to be comfortable standing on the scale..
Over the past year, we have worked day in and day out on the same task - to get Z Beans in the hands of as many individuals as we can. Each of those days played a part in making our next step possible - opening the first Z Beans Coffee shop. While the shop may have seemed like a big leap to some, to me it seemed like a natural progression. I never got too excited about it, as it appeared to be the mark of the inevitable.
Two days before opening, we put up all the pictures on the walls. We had a big image of Arturo accompanied by smaller pictures of the farmers. I didn't think much of it.
However, opening day came and something changed. The day was no longer any other day. It was no longer a mark of the inevitable. Arturo's picture no longer stood stagnant on the wall - it talked to me - it reminded me.
It reminded me of the first time I met him. The first time I yelled at him because he wouldn't stop walking so fast. The first time he invited me over to his house, and I had to ask Dr. Kiefer if I could go. The time we exchanged WhatsApp numbers, so we could talk on his daughter's phone. The time I bought Arturo his own phone when we sneaked over the border and into Peru. The times we sat at his table, planning out our supply chain. The times he has ran to the store to get cigarettes, because I "stressed him out." The times he has walked out on me and Z Beans to return only a few minutes later. The times I have returned to Ecuador to see a big smile on Arturo's face. The times I have called Arturo "Presidente" and he responded "Comandante."
Dr. McMahan, the director of Mercer On Mission, finishes the prayer, and I step up to the podium, hoping to say a few words before our grand opening. I thank Carter, who has agreed to sacrifice and forego other job opportunities to build Z Beans with me, then I begin to thank Arturo. All of our memories race through my head, but one reigns supreme.
A 65 year old man was willing to take a chance on a 21 year old.
Before talking about Arturo, I look in the corner where my mother is standing. I see a tear rolling down her face, as she does her best to keep it in. Immediately, the emotions hit me. All the sacrifices she and my father have made have allowed me and Z Beans to get to this point. Without them, I don't have the empathetic heart, hoping to make a difference. Without them, I don't have the work ethic to see it through.
I say a few words about Arturo, my mother and my father, then step away from the scale and the myriad of people supporting what Carter, Arturo, and I have worked so hard to build. The doors to Z Beans Coffee shop open for the first time.
While we are constantly working to improve, often times it is difficult to see the change. From the ones who work diligently to change their bodies - to the ones who are trying to make an impact upon the world, stepping on the scale, without fear of what it may say, is the first step.
The scale will push you, and if you look down at it, it will continuously remind you of just how far you've come.