Toxicity

When everything comes from a spirit of giving – love, kindness, from the heart – life is good. Life flows. Prosperity flows. Happiness emanates, the fringes of peace.

When it’s all take-take-take, or nothing-is-ever-enough, happiness cowers in a shadowy corner, afraid to come out.

Last night, we had dinner at Le George in Northville, a charming restaurant in the heart of the little downtown there. George Farah, the owner of this Lebanese eatery, knows how to balance flavor and presentation. Nothing was over-powering. The decor is subtle and elegant, the food a mix of savory and sweet, tasty and salted just right.

We clinked our glasses of Lebanese wine (which Dan has been looking for for 20 years!) and George said, “I am not concerned about competition. I believe in God – God will provide for me and He will provide for the restaurant next-door. If I take care of my customers, He will take care of me.”

I fell in love with those words. He is a generous, talented, giving man who knows how to run a business. He knows that giving is far more lucrative than nasty competitive back-stabbing. He knows that a good product, a sincere demeanor and attention to detail and to customers wins every time.

At the end of the meal, he brought over a plate of “cigarettes.” They were thin tubes of dough, fried crispy, with Syrian cheese and spices inside. A tantalizing mixture of taste so good, I was lost in the moment in a cloud of pure enjoyment.

After, we strolled down the moon-lit street to The Next Chapter, a cozy little bookstore-cafe. Husband-wife proprietors, beautiful interior, books of interest and foods to satisfy and tables out on the sidewalk in the fresh night air.

The people we surround ourselves with can make or break us. Those who sap us of our mission and passion are toxic, not to be tampered with, only to be set on their path, never to return. I’ve said goodbye to friends who only cried the woe-is-me song. And opened my arms to those who are good to the core, honest and humble, talented and giving.

“Please come back again,” they waved as we left. I believe we will. Because there is no greater satisfaction than experiencing the hard work and passion of truly well-meaning people.

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