Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Go out and be a blessing

When I first started working in Real Estate, my broker used to end every staff meeting with the same phrase..."Go out and be a blessing". When I asked him one day over coffee why he always sent us off with those words, he told me that it was his goal to try as hard as he could to leave the people he interacted with during the day happy to have seen him. Not only was it good business practice, but it's just the right thing to do. He said you don't have to be gushy, and for heaven's sake don't tell everyone you meet to have a nice day. Just be kind to everyone you meet and find a way to help someone else every single day. Such a simple concept...be a blessing...but one I remember to this day and have always tried to follow.  Some days it's easy.  Open a door for someone, thank the someone who opens one for you, tell the kid bagging your groceries that he did a good job. Some days it devolves into waving cheerily at whoever that is in the car behind me gesturing and honking her horn. And yes, some days you have to really, really dig down deep to be anything approaching a blessing.

There was a series of commercials that recently aired where people were amazed by others who did little things during the day, like picking up a child's toy that fell from a stroller or running after someone who had left their briefcase at the diner. They went on to pay it forward by doing something nice for someone else. I refuse to believe that people are shocked by little courtesies. In my world, Polyanna and I believe in the goodness of people and that, given the chance, they want to be nice or at least courteous. I truly believe that people respond in kind to how they are treated. And when you think about it, what is the alternative?  To go thru your day scowling at people, assuming they are all out to get you?

With that in mind, go out and be a blessing. And if that involves being in the Starbucks drive thru and paying for the coffee of the person behind you, good on you. If that person is a redhead driving a Subaru Forester, I prefer grande bold, no cream.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

I just want a hug

There is a commercial being aired right now where two friends are walking along and one tells the other that her son is using drugs. The other woman looks at her and gives her a hug. The voice over says something to the effect that we know what to do about drug use but others don't. I don't like that commercial. I know that they are trying to sell their services, but in doing so they are negating a very important part of our support system, the power of a hug. 

I freely admit I'm a hugger. I hug people I meet, people I know, people I don't know but maybe want to. I hug people back who hug me first and the other way 'round. I hug people who barely put their arms around me and people who hug so tight I can't breathe. I hug dogs and kids and stuffed animals. I tried to hug a cat once...I don't recommend that. I hug pillows and flowers and quilts. I hug to say I'm happy to see you, and I'm sorry to see you go. I hug to say you are not alone, someone cares about you. I hug to say I recognize the need for human contact and am willing to share some.

But most of all, I hug to say I may not know exactly what to say to ease your pain, and I may not have the answer to your problem, but I can do this little, very important thing...I can hug you.