Do you ever wonder if your day-to-day activities matter? Ever think your job is meaningless? Let me assure you, folks DO notice. And you ARE making a difference.
I still carry the sweet memory of a New York worker who didn’t know the example he provided. My two teens and I had moved away from all that was familiar a couple years after my young husband’s cancer death, and I had taken an editorial job an hour north of New York City. At the end of our first year there, we ventured down to Broadway to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was a memorable day of cheering and clapping along with thousands of other families as we watched floats and marching bands and giant balloons that long had accompanied our holiday, but only through TV. The best part of the day, though, was the lesson I learned from a subway elevator operator.
For long hours each day, he was trapped in that box under the city streets, breathing air thick with fumes and dirt. I wouldn’t have blamed him if he’d been grumpy as we boarded his elevator. But he greeted us cheerfully and asked where we were from.
As he delivered us to our requested level, he cheerfully wished us well and asked us to come again.
As we boarded the subway train on the lower level, we could hear him singing hymns as he strolled in front of the elevator and waited for his next passengers.
I was amazed that rather than allow himself to be bitter about his job or his lot in life, he chose to bring freshness and joy to those who shared his day, even for those few minutes.
What a gentle challenge for me! What if, instead of fretting about my struggles, I chose to be like him? What if I gave others reason to smile?
Have you ever had YOUR day brightened by someone who just was doing his or her job? Have YOU found a way to make a difficult task more bearable? What do you hope others see as they watch YOU at work? Remember, moment by moment, we DO make a difference.