The other day I was driving home after a series of intense meetings at a client site. I was downtown in the heart of a neighbourhood with a rather poor reputation and a challenging history. It was mid-afternoon and classes at the neighbourhood school must have just finished because the sidewalks were full of giggling, wiggling children.
I was stopped at a red light, at the intersection of two broad, main streets. The crossing guard was focused on getting a herd of little ones safely across the street. Like a mama hen and her chicks.
Somewhere out of this cheerful, chirping, ordered chaos chimed a crystal clear “Thank you!” So loud it rose above the clatter. So happy and sweet and genuine, it made me smile.
I was far enough away that I couldn’t hear anything being said by anyone else. It could be that every single one of the kids thanked the crossing guard, a lovely thought, but I don’t know. I did hear that one, though, and I thought how kind. This little child thought and cared enough to say thank you. Such a simple little thing.
We are surrounded daily by people whose job it is to serve us somehow – waiters, sales clerks, cashiers, crossing guards – not the easiest of jobs and more often than not, thankless. Often the people in these jobs blend into the background for us. It’s easy to take them for granted and not recognize the fact that they have, whether well or not, in some way helped us. Saying, hello, smiling, asking how they are, and saying thank you, in short acknowledging their existence, can go a long way to making a difference in someone’s day.
I know that that “thank you” made a difference in my day, and it wasn’t even meant for me. That one little thank you, albeit big in volume, made me smile, and I’ll bet it made the crossing guard smile, too. It made me smile in the moment. It made me smile as I continued on my way home. It’s making me smile now as I am writing this. One little thank you sure can make a lot of noise.
A minute earlier, a minute later, I would have missed it. I’m glad I didn’t.
How about you? Were you able to make someone’s day a little brighter today? Who made you smile today? Share a smile with us in the comments below, please. We can always use another one. 😀
Photo via Pexels from Unsplash