Wednesday, February 23, 2011
“Damn. They were pulling in.”
“C’mon God. Give me a spot please. Just this once. C’mon!!”
“Oh?!... OH!... Heck yeah! Score! Bing, bing, bing!! Thank You God!! A spot, and close to the front!”
Then I thought: “Did God reaaaallly grant me a parking space?”
This created a new topic to ponder as I strolled around the bookstore. I go to bookstores not always with the intent on acquiring a tome to my liking, but I like the silence. I like the smell. I like being surrounded by the stories of others presented for me to slip into. I just like bookstores.
“Please God, let the donuts be fresh!”
“Please God, let there be some ink in the printer!”
The lady had fallen and lay injured on her floor for days. The lady asked who had called in her favor which saved her life. Emergency professionals told her the Dominos people. Her odd diet and brief daily interactions saved her life. Her prayers obviously heard. The Dominos delivery person was seemingly driven by divine opportunity or perhaps a vehicle in answering the prayers of another.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I remember the day got accepted to the American Team to travel the country. I remember my TV debut. I remember driving off the lot in my first sports car. I remember seeing my work in print for the first time. Those were some really great days! I no longer have nor do those things.
I remember my graduation day from High School. I remember my graduation from beauty school. I remember days when I completed a long task and got recognized, certified, or the “atta-boys” I thought were so important. They were...then.
I also remember the first day my father told me he loved me. I was 21. There were more following. I remember when my wife agreed to marry me. We took a limo around town celebrating the fact that “this guy” got “that girl”. I remember hearing “I’m pregnant”; the kind you want to hear. I remember when she arrived. I remember when my son arrived. We became a whole family. I remember hearing news like, “She’s okay, the test came back negative”, or “the financing went through, we can keep our house”. Indeed these were “the best of days.” Gifts mind you. But we have many more.
Yesterday, a Saturday, my day started as most of mine do, not sleeping in and taking care of the family needs. That’s okay. I am an early riser. My son had basketball practice and my daughter was venturing out with a friend feeding her own interests.
My son plays well...for a kid who is short and slight. He is not well rehearsed in the game, but makes up for it in heart (what some may call hyper). I often read to allow me to focus on drowning out three hundred drumming basketballs being awkwardly bounced. I glance up whenever my son has the ball or it is his turn. When they play a scrimmage, the book closes. My son glances to the bleachers flashes me a smile. I return it with a “thumbs up!” He smiles bigger and returns to the game. He shoots, misses, and gets a thumbs up! Again smiling, he returns his focus to the game–both of us proud of the other.
Some of the other parents berate and yell game strategies and their disappointments at these fledgling athletes. Their children look around for reassurance in a public setting to find little or none there unless a score is made. I don’t get it–they’re seven years old.
The game ended. My son made a basket. I shared how proud I was of how he played. He didn’t win though. It didn’t matter. He was jazzed and we had bonding time ahead! He was panting as a pro athlete would, proud of his participation and accomplishment, satisfied of his performance of the day. His day could end there and he would be happy.
Monday, February 7, 2011
I first was struck by my newest quandary as I went through a local drive thru. Initially I thought the type of business (a fast food joint-I was getting a breakfast sandwich) would be significant evidence and support to my topic, but that is where I decided to let this one simmer, or marinate if you will.
My food was waiting on me and “efficiently” pressed into my hand that was just emerging from my window. I guess this is commendable behavior when service should take no longer than 30 seconds. I was given a “Thanks” through unsmiling lips. I replied, “Tha...”, the sliding glass door slid shut. Next!
Hmmm. Okay I will put customer service aside. In businesses that often have annual turnover in their staffing well over one hundred percent, I guess I didn’t expect a hug upon arrival and departure, but it left me wondering is this the norm. Is this where a lot of human contact and interaction is being reduced to? Well, kinda.
In my observational pause prior to writing this, I noticed how many instances I encountered “Drive Thru Greetings” from many different people and places. Greetings that left me thinking I would prefer silence to a hollow and rehearsed sub-acknowledgement of my existence. “Did I really need to turn down the stereo for that!?”
If I ask you “How are you”, I really care. If I say “Good morning”, I want you to have one. If I say, “have a great day”, indeed I hope that is what happens to you. If I say “travel safe”, I truly want your journey unobstructed. And they say that “Thank you” can be one of the most precious prayers you offer to God thanking him for a gift divine. If it is good enough for God, it is good enough for me, so if you hear me say “thank you”..., well you know where I am going. The intention behind our brief greeting is like saying a brief prayer for that person. Hollow greeting, hollow prayers.
When you encounter people, try speaking your greetings from a place of genuineness, and listen to the responses with your heart. Sometimes it only takes 10 seconds to make someone’s day and to make them feel recognized.
And to all of you now, “Have a great day, travel safe, and most of all, Thank you!”