Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trademark

Yesterday I went to Wal*Mart. ("Wow, Elizabeth. I can already tell this is going to be a super interesting post! Glad I took the time to read it.") Have had my share of awful retail experiences (both as a customer and employee) and one of them involves the standing-in-lines-thing. People really, really hate to wait in lines. And the longer they stand, the meaner they get. On an impulse yesterday, I asked the woman behind me, who only had a couple things in her hands if she wanted to go in front of me.




It's not the fact that she accepted it the offer that threw me. It's how completely shocked she was that I offered. "Wow, that's so nice," she said. "Nice is rare."


Okay, the point of this post is NOT what a great person I am for letting someone else cut me in line. Because, I am ashamed to say, I am more often than not the cranky girl in line who doesn't want anyone to think they can push me around. I have rights, I think. I'm in a hurry.


But then yesterday, a totally impulsive act made a complete stranger smile. I mean really, really smile. She grinned through her entire transaction and then thanked me again on her way out. And I was really humbled because I realized it is so easy to make someone's day and it's even easier to ruin it.


And I thought about how many opportunities I've had to make someone's day great...how many times have I passed that up? How many times have I been short with a waiter or testy with a cashier or cut someone off in traffic? I can't even count.


On the other hand, I have these lovely little stories about this-one-time-i-bought-a-newspaper-from-a-homeless-man or how-i-let-some-stranger-cut-me-in-line. I can remember those stories. Why? Because they're remarkable.


Here's the thing, though. I don't want my kindness to be remarkable. It should be everyday, average, ordinary, run-of-the-mill. I want kindness to be my trademark.





So that's my Wednesday challenge to myself.  I'm going to be looking for chances to make someone's day! What about you? What are you challenging yourself to do this week?

love, elizabeth

PS: Countdown continues...only SIX more posts until the giveaway!! It's another hand-picked gift...maybe I'll start giving clues...

14 comments:

Karm said...

I love helping people out. I did that once and I felt so happy. A smile does go a logn way. Since then I have been been letting people cut in front of me... not all the time, but when I'm not in a big hurry. and if they have fewer items than I do.... oh yeah once I let someone go in front of me, they paid me $5... I tried to give it back to them because I thought it was silly. but they insist that I take it... I still have it haha

You are an amazing person!!

Karm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca - A Daily Something said...

What a lovely post...and great story!!! Love the Plato quote, too. This week my challenge is a bit more selfish, but I need to find a job. ;)

Emily said...

What a sweet post. I agree 110%. :)
x

Kathi said...

So true. We wrongly think our actions have to always cost greatly when in reality the every day simple kindnesses that all of us are capable of doing really make an enormous impact!

One of my favorite quotes...."Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.". ~Leo Buscaglia

Thanks for the reminder!

Kelsey Cole said...

this was such a good story:) I think the everyday small acts of kindness make an extraordinary impact on the person who receives it. I bet that lady left feeling inspired to do something nice for someone as well, and then a chain reaction is started by one small act of service. What a wonderful thing that is:)

Gentri said...

I say yes to clues!! :D I want to see if I can figure it out! haha!

And that was so nice of you. :) Way to go! I love seeing selflessness in this world.

Jenni @ Story of My Life said...

Awesome post Elizabeth. Those little random acts of kindness are usually so easy to do, and can have such an impact (on the one who received the act, and the one who gives it). :)

Becca {A Blonde's Logic} said...

Great post! Your are totally right!

Becca
http://blondeslogic.blogspot.com

Sarah (Not Her Real Name) said...

I bet that lady went home and told her husband or whoever, "you will not believe what happened to me today!" And maybe it inspired her to be nice, too. Maybe she'll pay it forward. Like in that Haley Joel Osment movie.

And as someone who has worked as a cashier in retail, I can say for sure that when one customer is nice to you, it makes you want to be nice to the next five people who are jerks to you.

Anyway, I love this post. /not a sarcastic comment

Ashley @ A Recipe for Sanity said...

AMEN. That's the only real response to this post for me. I think we have to make kindness a part of our lives...not something miraculous we've done. It's sad to think that people are surprised by kind acts in the world we live in. If all of us made those small gestures every day, maybe people would be a bit less surprised!

Med said...

I'm right behind you...

val said...

This is just perfect! good for you! I try hard to strive to show this kindness everyday too. sometimes I struggle more than others! Im a work in progress!

Ocean Dreams said...

Love this! I've done the same before and you are right, it makes not only you feel good that you helped someone, but it means the word to the person receiving the act of kindness!

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