the ugly truth

I am an avid follower of Christine Mason Miller’s blog Swirly Girl. Last week she wrote a post  “Pay Close Attention.”  It raised the issue of talking on our cell phones as we do errands.  Guilty as charged!  I have to admit I skimmed the post, on first reading, because the contents of it hit a little too close to home.  But I have continued to think about it for almost a week now.  In my quest to be more mindful her post illustrated a very simple way in which to display gratitude. Thank you Christine for helping me to grow!

Post excerpt: As I’m out and about – at the dry cleaners, the grocery store, the coffee shop and such – I try to be present with all the people I interact with on these errands.  The sight of someone talking on a cell phone while they are checking out at a grocery store makes my head spin and my heart sink.  The idea that someone can be so self-involved as to completely ignore and discount the person standing in front of them is right up there with spitting in public and littering.  

So this is what I do, and it involves four very simple steps:

* Look the person in the eye
* Smile
* Ask how their day is going
* Say thank you

Yet time and time and time again, when I do this – particularly looking someone in the eye – I get a slight double take with a subtle look of surprise, like they can’t believe I actually notice them.  

How many people do we interact with on a given week?  Grocery store clerks, postal workers, waiters, coffee servers, toll booth workers, UPS drivers…each person doing his or her job, each person with their own imaginings and stories.  Look them in the eye, smile, ask how they are, say thank you.  Notice their reaction, notice how this not only gives them an extra sparkle in their eye, but it gives you this sparkle as well.  It’s just that simple.

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