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Oct 28, 2010

"Compassion automatically invites you to relate with people because you no longer regard people as a drain on your energy." --Chogyam Trungpa

The Burrito Man Who Changed Lives

For almost 20 years, he was there. A little guy in a metal cart, selling rice-and-bean burritos at 17th and K street. There in all weather, he became a dependable rock in the rapids of life in downtown Washington DC. He recalled not only his patrons' food preferences, but also the names of their children and standings of their sports teams. Workers who had been transferred away would come find him on their visits back. He once got a postcard from a customer traveling in Africa. It was addressed "Carlos's Burrito Cart, Corner of 17th and K." Infusing the street-corner with trust and a genuine friendliness, he ran his cart on the honor system, putting out a basket for people to drop their payment. When he told you he hoped you would have a good day," he really meant it," says one regular. "I don't think he had any idea the impact he had on people."

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