The heart is a weapon of mass construction.
A light bulb finally turned on in my head one day. It was the wiser part of me saying: Okay, Salee, if you’re brilliant enough to know something isn’t right, then you should be brilliant enough to do something about it. In other words: Speak up!
I’ve learned to be careful when deciding to cooperate with such nudgings because opportunities start cropping up everywhere.
So yep, a challenge presented itself just a few days later. It took place while I was standing at a counter in a restaurant. I had just placed my order and the cashier told me what I owed. I asked her if I could write a check. “Oh no,” she said in her usual brusque and tactless manner. “You can only pay with a card or cash.”
Over the years, I had watched this woman’s attitude as she dealt with customers and puzzled over how she managed to keep her job.
I just couldn’t remain passive anymore.
Reaching out to something deeper in her, I asked warmly: “Can you say that with a smile?”
Blushing, she said: “I don’t like my smile.”
She was smiling.
“Your smile is beautiful,” I said. “It lights up your whole face . . . and besides, it makes me—the customer—feel good inside.”
The look on her face was priceless as she thanked me.
I felt hugged!
Increasingly over the years, I see that being forthright—when it comes from the heart— is a gift, even an act of love. Unfortunately, we tend to shy away from such directness because we fear it might seem rude, or it could inflict pain, or it may be a wasted effort.
All I know is I’m grateful for the people in my life who didn’t hold back telling me what I needed to hear. How lucky for me they didn’t tell themselves: What good will it do? It won’t make any difference. Those bold people made me stretch. I thank them for that.
By the way, that employee I was talking about . . . she hasn’t stopped smiling.
Yes! We CAN make a difference.