Have you ever had an interaction with someone, maybe a customer, maybe a stranger, or some random person waiting in line with you at the grocery store, that left you feeling alive? The type of conversation that is so pleasant, so polite and benevolent that it literally shocks you?
Last night I waited on a table from the south that was like a breath of fresh air. The whole table, family, and friends were so courteous and well mannered. It was lovely.
Through conversation with a friend after work, the group I waited on was mentioned and it reminded me of another table I had waited on months ago. Two women from the south, Louisiana to be exact, one early thirties and one mid-sixties. Very well mannered, very kind, genuinely caring people. So much in fact that when I dropped the check I told them what a pleasure it was to take care of them. We chatted for a bit and that was the end of it, or so I thought.
Last night I realized that those two women left their mark on me with their general positive and up-lifting energy alone. Months later I was telling someone about my experience with them. It made me question how I interact with people.
Am I kind and caring? Do I pay close enough attention? Do people walk away from an interaction with me feeling better than they did when it began?
Or, am I so caught up with the day to day bullshit, the fast pace, the go go go mentality that I forget that the people I interact with are just that… PEOPLE. The customer, the cashier, the toll booth attendant, the barista, the server, the delivery driver. They’re all people who I have the opportunity to leave a positive mark on with how I conduct myself throughout the interaction.
And maybe, just maybe, if I’m lucky they will notice as I did, and it will ripple outwards throughout their social circles and throughout their interactions with others.
It seems so simple yet it took some amazing, well mannered, genuinely kind women from Louisiana to shock me with their loving energy and make me realize how self-consumed I can be. How often times I am just going through the motions in my interactions with others, possibly staring down at my phone, possibly worrying about some shit that hasn’t even happened yet, not present to the moment at hand. And how large of an impact those little moments can have on others’ lives, as it did mine.
Personally, I recall moments where I almost felt uncomfortable when random people were kind to me, questioning their motives, like man that was strange. Society has literally conditioned me to question people who are randomly kind to me for no reason. You know what though? I remember those interactions. They stick out. Among the dull everyday HI’s and byes, thanks have a good one, and take it easy s, you remember the person who goes out of their way to show you kindness and consideration.
I want people to feel that way about me. I want people to associate my name with authentic love and care because that’s how I feel you make a difference. The way we treat each other on a day to day basis whether we realize it or not has an impact. Be the sun shining when it’s raining out, be that fuzzy warm feeling on the back of someone’s neck. Try and be the reason someone questions their own social conditioning because you left them with such positivity they were forced to say to themselves “What the fuck just happened.”