Far too often we forget that it is the smallest thing that can make a day turn out completely different than what we expect. It is amazing how much a little situation can change a day for the better, but we are usually in too much of a hurry to notice, let alone actually appreciate these things. The perspective that we gain from understanding these events is delightful.
I experienced such an event yesterday when I traveled to meet with the client. There is a new wrinkle to the schedule with the meeting scheduled for later in the morning than before. This gives me time to grab a lite breakfast while I am in town. I was in the building cafeteria to get my food, and I needed some assistance from one of the young men who was working there to get everything that I needed so I could be on my way. Like any large office building cafeteria, it was extremely crowded and full of people who were lost in their own little worlds.
I politely asked the young man for assistance, and he responded promptly and pleasantly in return. In my haste to get back to my meeting, I neglected to thank him. I was in a rush and didn’t realize this until I was away from the cafeteria. I realized that not thanking him was bothering me and I made the conscious decision to stop at the cafeteria on my way out of the building later to thank him personally.
Fate intervened, and as I was on my way back to the cafeteria after finishing my meeting, I decided that I would stop at the restroom on the first floor of the building near the cafeteria before going to thank him. To my surprise, he was coming out of the restroom as I was going in. I stopped him and told him that I was sorry for not taking the time to thank him for helping me earlier in the morning. I expected a blasé response from him, but to my surprise, he reached out and took my hand to thank me for remembering him. We talked for a few minutes. He is a college student working several part-time jobs to get by and trying to better himself. He told me that he often remembers faces during his busy days, mostly because of negative experiences, or people taking him for granted. He was pleasantly surprised that I remembered him enough to speak to him away from his work. He said that as soon as he saw me, he recalled me from earlier, but he never expected me to remember him, let alone taking the time to thank him personally.
I felt so good for the rest of the day, there was a joy and peace that made everything else irrelevant. It is incredible how much better a day can be when we are kind and human to each other. When we build each other up rather than tearing each other down, the world can be a beautiful place.