Perseverance + Kindness = My New Hero

You never know when you’ll meet a hero.  On our Thanksgiving trip to see family, we stopped at an Applebee’s for dinner.  The server was delightful.  Her name is Heaven (really), and she certainly lives up to that name.  But, the real story is about to unfold.

This is Kelvin Carter, the manager at Applebee’s.  He stopped by with a gentle smile and kind voice to ask “How is everything?”  We talked about the dinner, and Heaven.  We told him about our last visit a few years ago, and a server who makes a difference.
Tanya, the Real Deal For Kindness
There are people who just have a way of making you feel good and open the door to conversation.

Kelvin is that person.

It started with his firm handshake.  His eye contact was locked on.  His smile was genuine.  Hubby told him about the Kelly Clarkson Show and Read Aloud West Virginia.  I was surprised Kelvin cared and wanted to hear more.  I told him I was a preschool teacher, and how important children’s books are.

“Kelvin, are you married?  Do you have children?”

“No.  Not yet.  You see… (long pause, standing tall, squaring shoulders) I have a contract with myself.”

My eyes must have been saucers.  Who says that?  Who has a contract with themselves?

Then Kelvin pounded his chest with his fist.  Twice.  He changed.  He was serious.

“I’ve only been here four years.  I have a work ethic.  I need to work hard before I can get married and have children.  My dad had a bar in West Philly.  I worked there when I was young.  I learned a lot.  I need to prove myself.”

And so, I salute Kelvin.  He is the poster guy for perseverance.  He is my hero.  He inspires me.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
This entry was posted in Expressing words and feelings, Inspiration, Kindness, self esteem and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Perseverance + Kindness = My New Hero

  1. Dan Antion says:

    The world needs more people like Kevin. And, we should all have a contract with ourselves, and we should be hard negotiators.

  2. Seems you have a knack for encountering wonderful people at Applebee’s. Cheers to a true Thanksgiving treat. Hoping for a positive future for Kelvin.

  3. Darlene says:

    It is folks like Kelvin who make both the US and Canada the great countries they are. I love meeting people like this.

  4. He has a great goal/contract with himself. More of us should do the same.

  5. Thank you for this inspirational post to start my day. Kudos to people such as Kelvin with strength of character!

  6. Lovely post, Kelvin will go far I think!

  7. Jim Borden says:

    wonderful story; I love Kelvin’s attitude and thinking ahead. You gotta love Phily guys!

  8. joylennick says:

    What an uplifting story, Jennie! The very best of good fortune to Kelvin with his positive attitude. He certainly met the right lady when he met you…

  9. Wish more men took that attitude…

  10. Annika Perry says:

    Jennie, I feel the power and intensity of Kelvin’s words in your post. Such wisdom and dedication … he will go far in life!

  11. I wish Keven could inspire the 4.2 million workers who walked off their jobs this year to follow his example.

  12. beetleypete says:

    Kelvin has a wonderful attitude. far too many people rush headlong into life without considering the building blocks.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  13. quiall says:

    The real heroes are the people standing next to us who strive to improve themselves, to improve the world around them. Those are the heroes!

  14. petespringerauthor says:

    You know this is my kind of post, Jennie, because I am all about the people. You could have had a different server at Applebee’s (a fine restaurant), but you wouldn’t be writing this post without people like Kelvin, Heaven, and Tanya. Businesses are important, but it ALWAYS comes down to the person. While I applaud Kevin’s contract to himself, it’s hard to keep a promise like that if your heart gets stolen.

    • Jennie says:

      It really is all about people, Pete. When I am lucky enough to have a chance encounter like this, it’s a strong reminder that people are really good at heart. But as you say, if your heart gets stolen… staying true to ones self is really hard.

      • petespringerauthor says:

        I may be a bit of a Pollyanna, but I think it’s better to give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong. One exception is when the telephone rings because my skeptical antennae pop up with all the scammers.

      • Jennie says:

        Well, we have the same nickname. Hubby is always calling me a Pollyanna. It’s a good thing that we believe in people first. Thank goodness I found the button on my iPhone that blocks unidentified callers. It helps with the scammers.

  15. Jennie, it’s your pure heart that draws people like that to you everywhere you go. They gravitate to you and share of themselves because they can feel your pure love. Such a rare gift as is Kevin. He wants to be a better man for whoever he comes in contact with in life. We need more good, thoughtful men and more of you, Jennie.

  16. bosssybabe says:

    What a great story about an ordinary hero- they come in all forms and ain’t nothing ordinary about him, just where you bump into them! 🙂

  17. Perseverance is a lot of short races! Nice story too.
    Thank you Jennie.

  18. Norah says:

    Kelvin must know a lot about employing people. 🙂

  19. Wonderful story, Jennie! Thanks for sharing and sending hugs and best wishess to Kelvin as he follows his dreams and inspires others.

  20. Wonderful find Jennie! He’s a wonderful person with big goals, and he’s working hard for them. Great! Jennie, you are on the way becoming a replacement for Jimmy Kimmel. :-)) Thanks for sharing, and have a beautiful weekend! xx Michael

  21. Lamittan Minsah says:

    The world has some nice, strong, caring and loyal people, Kevin’s strory now reminds me. The man’s views and character have inspired me to be good to people and stand for what I believe in. Thanks for such an inspiring piece, Jennie

  22. Sylverian says:

    This is a food for thought

  23. Pingback: 100 – Good – Beach Walk Reflections: Thoughts from thinking while walking

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