So today didn’t really turn out the way I had anticipated. I’m in Oakham for business, and I thought I would be able to grab a little bit of well-earned retail therapy. This pretty little town simply heaves with interesting, non-chain shops which all whisper, “Come look at my wares.” And I had every intention of doing so, but then I forgot about shopping.
Well that’s not entirely true; I did manage to hit a couple of interesting shops, and I may have bought something unusual (but more about that purchase in another post). So what happened to halt my assault on the good retailers of Oakham? I entered the doors of Everlasting Now and stayed for over two hours!
Now you may think that the wares on offer at this veritable Aladdin’s Cave kept me busy browsing, and it is indeed stuffed full of enough pretty to keep even the most avid shopper engrossed. But no, what’s on offer at Everlasting Now is far more important – good old fashioned caring!
They don’t just sell; they care. They care about the community – everything on sale is either crafted by, or being sold on behalf of local people. And as I found out when I decided to sample one of their locally supplied, hand ground coffees, they care about people.
There were two of us sampling the coffee, but I think we both left with more than a lift from the caffeine. We got chatting with the owner and something magical happened; we all shared snippets of our lives. Some good, some not so good, and some downright heartbreaking. A few of the stories had been shared many times, a few had been bottled up and were freshly aired. There was an understanding in the air that was almost palpable.
So yes I forgot about shopping; but I remembered how to be a caring human being, and how reaching out to a stranger can actually make a difference. And in my book that’s way more important than shopping.
Here’s to less shopping, except in Everlasting Now. Because you don’t just go there to shop – you go there to care.