Saturday, February 28, 2009

MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND FINDING JOY

Every morning before my kids head out to school I run down a list of instructions:

Don't forget your homework.
Take your vitamin.
Brush your teeth.
Make a difference in someone's life.


The first few instructions are pretty self explanatory but on occasion I've had to explain what I mean about making a difference in someone's life. I teach my kids that it doesn't have to be a profound moment. I'm not talking about saving someone's life, or discovering the cure for cancer while they're at school (although that would be great too!). I just try to get them to see that simple gestures of friendship, kindness and warmth toward someone can make a difference in their day.

Yesterday at the bank I waited in a long line of customers before it was my turn. There were only two tellers and I started to notice one seemed to be really chatty with her customers and the impatient side of me started to get annoyed. I had a long list of errands I needed to get done and so I wasn't too crazy about being delayed by a teller with seemingly all the time in the world to chit chat with her customers.

When it was finally my turn to take care of my banking it was her post that was open. I walked up to the counter with a tiny bit of an attitude at having to wait so long and rather quickly explained my transaction to her. And as she went about taking care of the business at hand I noticed she never stopped smiling. It totally threw me off and I started to laugh! When she asked me why I was laughing I told her it was because her smile made me realize how ridiculous my impatience had been. What difference did it really make in my life if it took five minutes or ten to get my banking done? It didn't matter.

So, I slowed down, took a deep breath, and just asked her how she was. She looked me in the eyes, the smile never leaving her face and answered, "I am so blessed. How are you?"

My answer? "Me, too!"

It was the perfect example of how one person can make a difference in someone's life in a small, sweet way. The teller turned my negativity into joy through her smile and blessed appreciation of her life. And for that moment, she made a difference in my life. It was a perfect example of finding joy in everyday living, and you can bet I plan to tell my kids about it!

22 comments:

SudsnJewels said...

Aha moments make life wonderful, don't they? And finding them in hidden, unexpected places is the BEST !!!
Sounds like a perfect day at the bank !
Thanks for writing that Gail....

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're teaching your kids good lessons.

Chrissy said...

OH my gosh!!! I love this post...its so true isn't it? I was at work one day last week and not having the best day, then I had to help a woman with really bad rosacia and after all was said and done, she said to me " You are so lovely, I did not expect you to be as pleasant as you were" at first I thought, well!! but then i realized it was a compliment and a nice one!! She left adding" Never jucge a book by its cover" and I thought wow..what an awesome lady she was!!!So...sorry but your post just reminds me of how important it is for us all to treat people the way we want to be treated..right? BLAH BLAH... i had just stopped by to say hi,hope you can come by soon!!! All the best, Chrissy

Kasey said...

isn't that the truth! Savor the small things and be rewarded with the big things.
xo

LuLu said...

I just love this post! Slow down smile and kind acts of friendship we all can use more of in our lives. It's so refreshing to have friendly service!
Now I didn't finish reading your older post cause I just saw the word Maryland and barn show and saw your items you are collecting... heart pounding I live in Maryland... oh my gosh I have to attend... I'm off to google the location to see if it's possible@!!!!!! :)
LuLu

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

I. Love. This. Post. What an amazing gift she gave you. And now you can pass this lesson on to your kiddos!

tardevil said...

Sweet! :O)

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

Wow, I forget this all the time. Thank you for the reminder... I need to write your "instructions" on an index card and stick it on my bathroom mirror... :P

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