“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
He was looking dejected when I approached the counter to order some coffee. I asked if he’d been having a rough day.
“No, I’m fine.”
He wasn’t fine. There was no one behind me in line so I engaged him for a few moments.
“This place can be a bit hectic. I come here most mornings. People are in a hurry, anxious to get wherever they’re going, not meaning to hurt anyone. It just happens. They sometimes forget that the person behind the counter is having a hectic morning, too.”
He looked up at me with a faint smile. I handed him a $5 tip. He glowed.
“People don’t realize how important you are to them. You’re the one who gets them back on the road with this great coffee. You matter.”
His look of gratitude was all I needed. My day was already made.
You may not want to admit it but when you’re overlooked, taken for granted, or abused by customers, bosses, or others who have some kind of authority over you, face it: you don’t like it.
However. . .
No one, as the saying goes, can make us feel inferior without our permission. Each time we respond to the world by giving it the power to make us feel awful about ourselves, we lose just a little more ground, a little more personal power. And the more power we give up, the worse we feel.
Here’s your opportunity to feel a little better about yourself:
Consciously choose to see the importance of each person you interact with today.
Just for a moment or two, take your mind off yourself. Recognize that everyone is engaged in his or her own kind of suffering. This is the beginning of compassion.
OK, now back to you. Coffee's ready.