I recently held a door open for a woman. She was much younger than me and balancing a purse, a diaper bag, and a bundled-up baby whose fat, rosy little cheeks were all that was visible. She said nothing. I forgive her. Maybe she was so harried by her day that basic societal mores slipped from her consciousness. Or maybe she is reflective of the cultural abyss showing itself between older and younger generations. Either way, her omission triggered me to think.
I take nothing for granted. Dying once and being given a second chance by the grace of God tends to place the living of life in really bright floodlights. Nothing I see or do is passive, too small or subconscious. I think about things like never before — everything.
Thanks to the guy at the Dunkin Donuts who gets up super early so that when I pull through the drive-thru hours before dawn, the coffee is fresh and hot. Ditto on the donut. Or how about the chef at the local restaurant who has worked hard to become a culinary expert so that my food is nutritious and delicious? Thanks. The list goes on and on as to who should be thanked, but sadly, that has been forgotten. Are we so darn busy that we can’t stop and acknowledge someone who has made our lives better?
A young lady gets to the gym before 5 a.m. so that I can be there when she sticks the key in the door. Thanks for helping me be as healthy as possible. To the beautiful senior whose smile and greeting warm me as I enter from the cold outside and step up to the reception desk to ask for directions, I say thanks. She takes her job seriously even though the color of her coat shows me that she’s a volunteer. I appreciate that. When did we get so busy or so caustic that the clerk at the dry cleaner doesn’t deserve a big thanks for making you look as good as possible?
A guy came out for a furnace inspection at our home. He was just doing his job. We were number 7 on a list of 15 or 16 he would look at that day. Standard fare for him because of his expertise, but for me and my wife, he was as needed as an emergency room doctor. I was leaving as he sat in his truck cab, filling out the paperwork like he probably has a thousand other times. I knocked on the window.
“Hey, man, I really appreciate you,” I said. He looked at me like I was from another planet. I explained, “You know, I don’t know the first thing about furnaces beyond the fact that if I don’t have one, I can’t keep me, my wife or my grandbabies warm.” I went on: “What you do is very important, and I just want to thank you for your training and expertise.”
“It’s really nothing,” he replied.
“Oh no, it’s not, brother, it’s something special and I, for one, thank you very much,” I said.
He feels better about himself today. Guaranteed.