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!
4 hours ago