A restaurant in Williamsville, New York serves authentic Burmese food along with an extra helping of loving-kindness. When a young man with autism went into the Sun Cuisines restaurant to pick up a take out menu, the manager saw something special and had the chef make a curry for him to eat right there on the spot.
Before going in, the boy practiced how he was going to ask for the menu. But when he didn’t return, his dad started to worry. What dad didn’t expect was to find his son enjoying a hot helping of beef curry provided by the staff.
Owen has autism and likes to know exactly where he’s going to eat dinner each night. He’s an obvious foodie and on this specific night, he was excited to eat at the local Burmese restaurant, Sun Cuisines.
What no one expected was the level of “uncommon kindness” Owen received when he stepped inside to ask for a menu. Owen got to see first hand, the benefits of the Sun’s manager’s Metta meditation practice.
Owen was greeted by partner and manager, Aye Thein, who got him the take out menu and then asked Owen how he was doing. Owen said he was hungry.
“And when I looked at his face, from my heart I said, ‘Oh he’s a very special boy, to me.'” remembers Thein.
Aye Thein practices a form of meditation that expresses loving-kindness to others. It’s called Metta, and the practice helps to cultivate empathy and compassion in your life. The meditation consists of silent repetition of phrases such as “May you be happy” or “May you be free from suffering.”
These wishes are directed at someone in your life, starting with yourself, then loved ones, and onto deeper levels of directing your thoughts towards difficult, rude, and unkind people. The practice helps develop compassion and empathy for the world and can elevate one’s daily positive emotions.
When Owen went inside the restaurant, Thein had Metta running through her mind when she put her practice into play. She asked what he wanted to eat and Owen said, “Beef.”
Thein sat Owen down and placed a steaming bowl of their beef curry in front of him. Now remember, Dad is waiting in the car for his son to return with the takeout menu so they can order food for the family.
Owen’s mom Sandra tells Western New York’s News 4 that Owen loves to know exactly where he’s going to eat each night, and they all knew they were going to get takeout from Sun Cuisines. Owen and his dad Pat pulled into the parking lot and they repeated what Owen was going to say before he went inside.
He was going to ask for a takeout menu and then bring it back to the car. Having autism makes this simple task more difficult but Owen was practiced and ready. What dad didn’t expect was how long it was taking him. After waiting patiently, Pat’s decided to go see what was happening.
When Pat entered the restaurant he found his son sitting at a table eating, and then he got the whole story from Thein. Pat snapped a picture and sent it off to his wife.
They were all so overjoyed by this simple act of kindness. Sandra wanted to spread the good message so she posted the picture and the story on social media.
It caught people’s attention right away and the likes came rushing in as the story spread across social feeds.
“I’m sitting their refreshing it and telling my my husband, ‘Hey we got like a thousand likes on this,’ and then I’m like, ‘No, make that 1,200.'” recalls Sandra.
Many folks on YouTube are expressing how they want to apply this thinking to their own lives.
“I need to start applying kindness and servitude to other people … Time to change my perspective and learn humility.”
“Simple acts of kindness really make a huge difference.”
If you like this story spread it around to those you know will appreciate it. And to practice some Metta, send it to those more difficult people out there, too.
And if you’re in the Willmington, NY area go get some of that loving-kindness and a good meal from Sun Cuisines.
Check out this story and you’ll see the power that compassion and empathy can have. It’s rooted in the simplest of things, like serving someone a hot meal, and it spreads like wildfire putting out that loving-kindness for someone else to feel and spread.
This is how social media can work for the good of the world.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.