“Will there be anything else” she said to me as I sat the bottle of water on the counter of the airport store. I said “no” as I glanced at her name tag and saw “Asja”. I’m one of those people who has difficulty figuring out what letters and numbers on a vanity license plate are supposed to stand for. So I asked “how do you pronounce your name?” having no idea the response to my question would be “Asia”. I responded “that’s a unique and pretty name. Does it have any particular meaning?” to which the young woman said “my mother is Asian and I’m the oldest daughter”.
The woman behind the counter at the airport store showed her appreciation I was interested and continued telling me about her two sisters’ names that were also clever and unique. What I will long remember was the joy in her eyes from being noticed as a person. Most often people in such service jobs are essentially unnoticed and treated at best like a utility and worst like they don’t have feelings.
Making full eye contact with people I momentarily interact with has become a cultivated habit. Looking fully into someone’s eyes as I say “thank you” has a positive effect. It enables me to hopefully put a little more good into the world knowing what I give comes back to me. If I have the chance to momentarily interact with a stranger in some meaningful little way I am pleased.
Everyone wants to matter to the world; to be noticed; to be seen as worthy and of value. Everyone matters. No one has a job that makes them less than, no matter how humble it may be.
Age has given me enough wisdom to realize I should not judge people by their clothes, appearance or what he or she does to make a living. I don’t know a stranger’s story and what they have gone through prior to arriving in my presence. I’m human and sometimes still fall into assessing a person too much, too quickly. Each time I catch myself doing that I become a little more committed to not doing it.
Some people I don’t know who I intentionally begin a short conversation with probably wonder what’s up with me. Most respond positively to my attention but some look baffled and don’t respond well. Am I some sort of Holy Roller, on happy drugs or delusional might be the sort of thing a few think. However, it has been my experience most appreciate being “noticed and seen”. I always hope each one remembers me positively. I always do them.
The more I embrace the world and people in it the more I like being alive. Whether it is flowers looking to have more vibrant color because I notice them or the smile on a person’s face who usually gets little attention, it all benefits me. I am grateful to realize that it is me that receives the greatest benefit…always. What is given comes back multiplied.
No kind action ever stops with itself.
One kind action leads to another.
Good example is followed.
A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions,
and the roots spring up and make new trees.
The greatest work that kindness does to others
is that it makes them kind themselves.