Yesterday I went shopping for fabric. This is typically not my favorite activity, but this time it was fun. My mom, my sister in-law, Alison, and our friend Julie have a way of making everything into an adventure. In celebration of Alison’s miracle baby (that’s a story for later), we were shopping for fabric to make a quilt. Fabric stores can overwhelm even the most organized people so by the time we were in line at the cutting table we were pretty beat.
While standing in line waiting to check out I observed the woman who was measuring and cutting the fabric. She was haphazardly throwing things around and mumbling to herself. She looked angry and miserable. Worse still, she was wiping her nose and sniffling profusely. I quietly whispered to Alison, “Great! Can’t she use some hand sanitizer? It’s right there!” We walked up to the counter and asked her to measure some ribbon and she kind of grunted, making no eye contact. I looked over at Alison and stifled a grin as if to say, “Really? Not only is she getting all her nasty germs on everything, but now she’s going to be crabby, too? Awesome!”
As she was cutting the fabric, I started to feel compassion for her. She was clearly exhausted, and I began to wonder if she had had some difficult customers that day. As we were visiting with her, something in her began to change. We told her we were sorry she wasn’t feeling well, and each time she finished cutting a piece of fabric we said thanked her politely. We were cheerful and kind. We smiled. And after a few minutes she started to perk up and even offered to give us a coupon. As we left Julie said, “We hope you feel better!”
We went about our shopping, and as we were leaving we saw her coming back in from her break. She smiled from ear to ear and called out, “Congratulations on the baby!” What a change!
Waking up this morning all I could see was her huge smile. I was right on verge of missing a great opportunity. This encounter made a huge change in the countenance of one woman and an even bigger change in my heart.
Simple Things to Start Making Change:
Wear a Smile: “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.” —George Eliot
Show Compassion: “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” 1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
Be Cheerful: “Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state of things within, as on the state of things without and around us.” —Charlotte Brontë
These simple things make extraordinary change! They are disconnected from circumstance. They are separate from feelings: They are choices; choices which change.
Do you want to join me in a humble revolution of the soul?
What simple things are you choosing to do this week to start making change?