How Starbucks Saved My Life by Mike Gates Gill This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 7, 2011
The Humble Improve
One story that really made an impact was Michael Gates Gill’s How Starbucks Saved My Life, a story about a man’s struggle for acceptance while making a living in “lower society.” Many people fail to appreciate what they have until they no longer have it. Michael never understood the affluent gift he was born into until he was about sixty years old just getting on by a Starbucks salary. During Michael’s childhood he lived in a thirty-five room estate fully equipped with a library which his father gloated about while not having the time to read a single book. This book shows that a person should appreciate what they have before and after it is lost
Prior to Michael’s job at Starbucks he was head of a major advertising firm JWT and at the hierarchy of social society. Gill was offered the job fresh out of Stanford University and began his career with a six figure salary. He was on top of the world in his fifties but it all came crashing down in his early sixties. It all began with being demoted, then being fired by an old friend whom he’d gotten a job at JWT in the first place and finally to top all of this off his twenty-two year old marriage ended with the birth of his girlfriend’s son Jonathan. Michael looks back on his life and regrets how little time he spent with his children because of his commitment at JWT and how they simply disposed of him like yesterdays paper. Just in this simple part of the memoir everything was handed to him. Right after Stamford he was offered a job, had kids but was never really there for them.
After being out of work for a while he was able to think to himself how much he had accomplished and how lucky he truly was. He had just thrown everything aside and never had the chance to stop and smell the roses. Michael was also not a very “peppy” person. While out from work he would sit around and absolutely do nothing. One day of just sitting in Starbucks Crystal, the manager of a nearby Starbucks, asked Michael ““Would you like a job?” lead to Michael saying “Yes, I would like a job.” without think. I believe that after going through what he did really changed him for the better, making him more thankful and sensitive and making him a more confident person. If he was never fired and ended up working at JWT until he retired he would had never felt the way he did now. “I would love to work for you.” Was all it took to get his life back on track. Over the course of his job at a Broadway Street Starbucks he became a new person which brought joy to his family.

People all around the globe don’t even realize how lucky they are. Disasters happen every day and I believe that it is our job to make them better. When I donate money or time to an organization all I can think of are the causes of the fund. What if I was in a hurricane, tornado or some big natural disaster? Would people help me? Being as lucky as I am, I am willing to do what every can to help others in need. That is why charities are made, to help others whether it is painting a house to donating money. That is why everyone should be thankful and appreciate what they have.

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