Monday, August 06, 2012
I learned a valuable life lesson on my morning walk a few summers back. Each morning I would pass a college aged woman standing at the bus stop. She was dressed in a fast food uniform and as I passed by I would greet her with a cheerful “Good Morning!!” She would turn around and smile and we’d both go about our day. One morning in early August I heard her voice say “Excuse me sir?” I thought maybe something had fallen from my pocket so I stopped and turned around.
“I wanna thank you for saying hello to me every day,” she began.” I’ve had a rough summer and I’ve had a lot on my mind and when you walked by every morning and smiled and said hello it made my day bearable. I’m going back to school on Wednesday and I wanted to make sure I thanked you. You made me feel that someone really cared enough just by saying hello. ”We both stood there a bit uncomfortable for a few minutes and I actually had a tear or two in my eyes. I mumbled something like “Thanks,” or “God bless you,” and went on my way.
That life lesson stuck with me. I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a grumpy cashier or servers turn their face into a grin when I’ve simply said. ‘Hi, how are you this most amazing day?” They will tell me they are fine or well or whatever and then the grin breaks out. “Thank you for asking!!!” I say it with sincerity. I genuinely do care.
What comes around goes around as they say? The other morning I was running late and needed some water to wash my BP pill down with. I swung into a long line at a fast food place to get a bottle of water. After what seemed like forever and my anxiety level rising higher and higher each moment because I just knew I was going to be late for everything for the rest of my natural life, I reached the window. A hand reached out with a bottle of water. I fumbled for my wallet and the person said “Apparently you have a new friend John, because the person in front of you paid for your water. Have a good day.”
When we were kids there was a chant prescribed mostly as a negative. It went “I’m rubber, you’re glue. Anything you say bounces off me and sticks on to you.” So maybe, just maybe we turn it around. And anything I say bounces off me and sticks on to you, especially the warmth, love and affection.