It’s the cheapest, easiest thing we can do to make our world a better place.
Yesterday, the cashier at a grocery store recognized me with a smile. She even remembered my name. “How have you been?” I had last spoken with her ten years ago, when I chose her checkout lane in a different store (which soon closed). I was surprised that she remembered me, years later, in a different setting. Apparently I was friendly and helpful on a day when it really mattered. It always matters, but some days are harder than others.
The smiles we give come back to us.
But too many customers complain, are rude, or treat workers with condescension. NO ONE has a greater intrinsic worth than another person. All people are interesting if we take the time to know their story.
A friend recently had to work a longer shift because her replacement never showed and couldn't be reached by phone. Sadly, the no-show had taken her life after her shift the previous day. There are many reasons for suicide, but it can be delayed day by day. Who was the last person who spoke with her? Were they kind?
Be kind to everyone, especially to people who work in retail or customer service. Make eye contact and say “Hi”. Wish them a good day or holiday season. Compliment their smile, or haircut, or something. Treat them with respect. Their job is often undervalued, and harder than you may realize.
What's your emotional footprint in this world?