There are many crazy things going on in the world today. People can’t seem to get along, politicians seem to be oblivious, the latest jobs report says that job growth has stalled; everywhere we turn we hear bad news. Not a day goes by that we are not confronted by arrogant, self-centered, self-serving people. Yet, there are people who still give us inspiration. You just need to look with open eyes and an open heart; you never know where you will see them. Believe me when you do see them and you watch as they put others first, try to do a good job, and quietly go about their work (with an integrity many of us thought was gone) it will put a smile back on your face and encourage you to do the same. I want to tell you about three people I witnessed this week.
The first was an elderly lady (cane and all) who was leaving a store. After she went through the door and it closed behind her, she spotted a young woman with an arm load of boxes. She went back to the door, waited on the young woman, and opened the door for her.
A couple of days after that, I pulled into McDonald’s for a cup of coffee. Across the street was a man sitting on the grass by the sidewalk. He wasn’t bothering anyone; he wasn’t asking for change or anything. He was just sitting there with a bag that looked like it held all his worldly possessions, and his dog. The man who walked out of the McDonald’s ahead of me had two bags and two soft drink cups. I watched as he set one bag and one drink on the roof of a car, and headed across the street with the other bag and drink. When he reached the man sitting on the grass he held it out for him. The man stood up to shake his hand, and said something too him. The clean cut Good Samaritan in his business suit waved him off, shook his hand, and walked back across the street. I waited to tell him I thought that was a nice thing he did. He replied, “Oh it was nothing, just fries a burger and something to wash it down with.” Then he was gone. He may have felt like it was nothing, but who knows when the last time was that man and his dog had a meal.
The third guy works at Home Depot in Gahanna, his name is Mike. I heard a husband and wife who were customers of his say, “Mike thought of everything. My husband went to pick out a grill cover for the grill we just bought, but Mike had even thought of that too. Then he stayed after his shift to finish putting it together for us so we could take it home, even though others could have finished it for him.” But, that’s nothing new for Mike, thinking ahead and going that extra step for his customers is what he does every day, for every person who walks in the store. To Mike, it’s just part of his job; and you would never hear him say anything about it. But, we all know too many people who are clock watchers. Too many people do just what the job requires, and little if any more. Too many people willing to attack other people before they even know the whole story. No Mike it’s not “just part of the job,” and though you may not hear it enough, you are appreciated for your efforts.
Each of these people thought nothing of what they did, but it made such a difference to the people they helped. You pass people like this every day, people who put others first and take the extra step. So, stop listening to the news, ignore the negative people. The elderly woman, the suit guy and Mike, if you look you will see them. They will wave you off and say they were just doing their job or they’ll say it was nothing, but don’t let them do that. It is not just part of their job and it is something to the people they help. Tell them you appreciate what they do, and then emulate them. These people set a good example for all of us. Follow that example, pass it on, do something nice just because you see the need; and we can all make this a better neighborhood to live in.