Ah, the one-stop giant shopping center...
So far, since my move to New England, every time I have taken a trip to the local big-brand, one-stop shopping center (I’ll let you guess its name so I can avoid stereotypes), I’ve had unpleasant experiences during the checkout process. From awkward cashier comments about my personal purchases (or their own personal lives), to straight-up rudeness, nearly every cashier at this store has caused me to say to myself afterwards, “Avoid that one next time.”
And I do manage to avoid them next time. I also proceed to have a new round of rudeness or awkwardness with my new cashier choice.
“Just do the self checkout lane,” you might say.
And I understand. I’ve said it to myself and it hasn’t worked. (Those self checkout lanes have people assigned to watch you, you know!) I can just see this store’s employee training program now...wide-eyed and eager to please, cashiers are instructed, “Do your part to make sure no one goes through your line without making them second-guess their choice to shop here!” They have one big group “Hurrah!” and off they go to make Big-Brand One-Stop Shopping Center head honchos proud. (At least that’s how I imagine it in my mind.)
But...a miraculous thing happened the other day. It was so fantastic, I could hardly believe it. What was it? Well...
At this very same store, my newly picked cashier
1) acknowledged my existence (yay!) and
2) efficiently scanned and bagged my items.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever think that you couldn’t possibly make a difference in someone’s life because you feel your line of work isn’t that exciting, or you don’t see many people in a day, you are mistaken.
Have you heard the story about the little boy going along the seashore tossing stranded starfish back into the ocean? Someone came along and told him he wouldn’t make much of a difference because there were too many stranded starfish, so he wouldn’t possibly be able to help them all. Then the boy tossed another starfish back into the ocean and said, “It made a difference to that one!”
You can be this person in someone’s life. Take my most recent cashier, for example. She was simply doing her job. She had no idea that nearly EVERY other experience with a cashier in her store had created frustration for me. She simply did her job with kindness and respect, and she MADE MY DAY.
Making the world a better place doesn’t have to be in the form of grand, sweeping gestures. I mean, we can’t all do dramatic rescues or donate tons of money to nonprofit organizations.
We can send a text to someone who’s far away and say hello.
We can sympathetically smile at that mom in the store whose kids are freaking out.
We can be gracious to the waitress who forgot to get us a refill on our drink.
We can set up our artwork for others to see.
We can help a little kid wipe his spilled milk off the table without getting angry at him.
We can make a tasty meal and show others how to do it, too.
We can be the cashier who efficiently and kindly sends people through the line.
We can do SO MANY endless amounts of actions!
This blog is for highlighting people around the world who are making a difference one “starfish” at a time - those who are using their talents and gifts to make the world a better place, whether they have thrown hundreds of starfish back to the ocean or just one. My goal is for you to be inspired to use your gifts to make the world a better place - to understand that you matter, what you do matters, and you can make a difference. And if your talent is being an efficient, respectful cashier, then go for it!
No act is too small.
(Just ask that little starfish!)
Need a little extra encouragement? Download your Affirmation Bookmark Bundle from my online gift shop here!