Let's talk about your need for holy leisure, interior freedom, poetic education, creative expression and cultural engagement. Authentic, joyful, humorous...many talks to choose from...custom crafted presentations...workshops, retreats, group facilitation...let me help you!
A pet peeve of mine is the one who, on being asked a question, simply says, “I don’t know,” instead of “I’ll go find out right now.” Another is the one who answers a phone call while I’m speaking to her in person, as though I just don’t exist as soon as that bell rings. Another, the one who doesn’t see an item on the shelf, and must be coached and coaxed to check the backroom shelves and the back-order list for clues about how to provide a needed item to a customer. Another…well, you get the idea.
But, I’m also – and often – blessed by the kindness and helpfulness shown to customers. A video was posted online recently of a fast food server helping an elderly customer cut up his food. I watched from a long line at the post office as an employee offered to help pack a shaky grandma’s gifts to her grandkids for mailing. Nobody was impatient in that line, but all seemed blessed by this tender and respectful gesture.
I realized then that not only are the world’s bottom-level, or front-line employees giving much of the human contact many people receive, but also they are doing a great work of modelling calm, courteous, respectful, unprejudiced, kind, attentive serving for all who observe scenes like this. I think, for instance, of the distressingly tattooed and pierced teen who witnessed the postal clerk’s helpfulness and seemed genuinely touched by her example. I pray that machines will not replace them, and that many people will continue to go to Actual Locations in the Real World for the things and services they need.
I try to thank these servers wherever I encounter them, and let them in on the secret that their work is vital to our society. If I’m in line as someone treats them with disrespect, I pray for them, and say a word of encouragement when it’s my turn. If you do such work, may God bless you! If you don’t, I hope you’ll begin to see the cashiers, waiters, sales clerks, flight attendants, drivers and others who serve us all in this beautiful light.