“To know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It feels like ages since I made a post here. I have been “swamped” with work, professional exams and life in general. Not a very good excuse…I know and I am sorry.
The core point of this post is not new; it has been written so many times, by different writers and wise people but please stick with me, as I intend to use a personal experience to further emphasize my point.
I tend to walk into high street stores over my lunch break to “entertain my eyes” and “burn some calories”. My “exercise routine” takes me to clothing, jewellery, perfume and book stores. In order to avoid unnecessary impulse spending, I tend to leave my purse at work to stop me from coming out of these stores with bags of stuff. This approach does not always work as some days I end up seeing something that keeps me awake at night and eventually go back into the store to buy it anyway. One recent example is my lovely new bag…
Click here for my blog post based on a yet another lunch time shopping experience I recently had.
Okay back to topic!
A week ago, I was on one my “lunch time exercise routines”. I did not feel particularly jolly that afternoon so I decided to go into Poundland to grab some cans of diet coke. (For people who don’t know, Poundland is a store where essentially everything is one pound. Sometimes you get multi-buy offers such as “3 for 1 pound” on packs of chocolates, drinks etc.)
After grabbing my drinks, I decided to check out what else was on offer, you never know, someday I could find a brand new Range Rover there (I wish). After pacing around for 5 more minutes, I decided that nothing else interested me, so I went straight to the till to pay for my items. As expected, there was a long queue, so I mentally gauged the queue and checked my wristwatch to see if I would make it back to work on time and decided to carry on waiting. While waiting, I noticed that the queue did not seem to be moving, so I looked ahead and noticed the shop attendant, a middle aged woman, struggling with her till. As expected, people in front of me started to get impatient, some had started grumbling and other faster ones quickly moved to other queues. As they did this, my queue got shorter so I moved forward.
After a while, the shop attendant fixed her till and continued attending to people. I was very glad about this and silently thankful to the impatient ones who left my queue to join other queues.
My queue continued moving and at this point, it was the turn of the lady right in front of me. I observed the exchange, noting that the shop attendant still looked very flustered by the broken till incident. She apologised for the delay and quickly packed up the lady’s things. While the shop attendant packed the lady’s purchases, I heard the lady compliment the shop attendant on her necklace. The shop attendant looked up with a very wide smile and said, “Thank you”. I don’t know how to explain in words, but seeing the shop attendant’s mood swiftly change from being flustered to that of pure joy really affected me. I stepped forward as the shop attendant looked after the lady while she walked away, with the beautiful smile still on her face.
I stepped out of the shop, looked across the street and saw some valentine’s day posters but my mind kept going back to what happened earlier in the shop and I thought to myself, “That was love right there”.
Clearly, the shop attendant was not having a good day but the lady, rather than moan about her long wait, chose to show her love with that tiny compliment, which I believe must have made the shop attendant’s day or hour, at least. Do you know the most beautiful thing about that action? It cost her absolutely nothing. Not one single dime. All it cost the lady were the one or two seconds it took her to say those words, “Beautiful necklace”. Think of all the difference those two words made.
It is the last day of January, and we all know that February is regarded as the month of love. I patiently wait to see how couples would try to express their love for each other. While we get carried away by valentine’s day and all the fanfare it comes with, perhaps it is also important to step back a little bit, to really consider what love should be. Perhaps we would see that it doesn’t have too cost much to show true love to one another. That single word, “Thank you”, that little compliment, “Nice tie”, that short phone call to know how your loved one is doing. That “How are you doing Jim?” to the security guard or cleaner at work.
Those two hours, out of your “busy schedule” to show your wife, partner or children that you care. Tiny little acts of love such as these could probably go a much longer way than choosing just one day to make a grand expression of love.
When we get back to the basics, we would see that such simple acts of love have the potential to reach places where time and money cannot. If anything, they have the potential to actually add to our joy, peace of mind, and total well-being.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please feel free to leave your comments and share with your friends.
Have a fulfilling weekend ahead.
Image credit: keturahweathers.theworldrace.org