Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was that every single time someone helped me – in the grocery store, the drug store, gave me directions in a hospital or primate center (I did not go to any primate centers) – I would say, “Thank you, I appreciate your help.”
I like being told thank you, and I like being appreciated, so I can only imagine others might enjoy it too.
I did it. Every single time.
Then on my birthday, I added in that I would give a compliment every time I sincerely could.
I had a great 2013.
I spent so much time and energy looking for good things that I didn’t have nearly as much energy or daylight to burn on irritability or annoyance (except in parking lots. Everybody needs a vice).
An amazing thing happened. Around summertime, because I travel a beaten path, people I didn’t expect started recognizing me: the cashier at Publix greeted me last night with, “Long time no see!”
I’m going to continue that. It costs absolutely nothing, but I think it’s spreading a little bit of joy in a world where unpredictable things can go spectacularly wrong.
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Why on earth did you skip the primate centres?
I always thank whoever helps me. I also ensure that if someone is ringing me through at a cash register, that I ask them, while looking into their eyes, how their day is and really listen to the answer. Life’s too short to feel overlooked and unnoticed, I figure. Some people aren’t worth talking to, but usually if someone lets them handle money they’re okay for a few minutes of day brightening.
I thought your resolution was to “say yes.”
That too, but it was my secret one. And you see how much trouble it’s gotten you into?
I like it very much.