Saturday, April 3, 2010

Wake up to serve

This morning, someone woke up to serve me—a lesson I learned during the recent wintry weather.

Heading out to McDonald’s to get some breakfast, I was silently cursing that Mother Nature had dumped yet another snowfall in my city. I felt put out, and wanted my coffee. But I didn’t know if I could maneuver my way to the car.

I came across a man with a shovel, bundled up against the brazen wind. He threw himself into the work, cleaning sidewalks and steps to the second-floor unit where I live. Good thing for me, since my boots had a hole in them and tennis shoes just weren’t enough to keep my feet dry.

This was solitary, thankless work. I looked around. The man and I were the only two people in the parking lot on this quiet early morning. I voiced my appreciation for his service. He stopped momentarily, smiled. The smile thawed the frigid air between us.

I got to McDonald’s to find it closed, though it was already slightly after the 6:00 a.m. opening time. Inside, I spotted employees busily mopping the floors. Nearly frozen by the chilly wind, I knocked on the door, irritated that I was barred from the warmth inside.

Just then, the manager rushed to the door to let me in.

“We got flooded late last night and I spent overnight getting it cleaned up,” he said. I felt guilty for feeling so selfish. The man personally served up my coffee, with a smile. I came back for a refill, and he was right there with a cheery disposition and friendly banter.

I learned a lot from my experiences on that wintry day. Many people who may seem to blend in with the landscape of my day get up every morning with me in mind. These are people in the service industry who get little credit, little notice.

To the restaurant manager and the man with the shovel:

Thanks, guys. You made my day, week, year.

Tomorrow morning, who will I wake up to serve?

--By Ron Cooper

40 comments:

  1. you have a wonderful loving heart and I'm glad you stopped by .

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a great perspective. If only more people shared your thoughts and appreciated what others do, our world would be so much better. God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Studio lolo and Matty:

    Thanks, thanks, thanks, and many blessings to you, too! Please let your friends know about "Inspire!" I love visitors.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is very true that we often take the work of service people for granted.They are indeed invaluable!

    Thank you for your six words at my blog!

    sema

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are welcome, Sema, and thank you for your insightful comments!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Ron! Following you back from Friday Follow. Thoroughly enjoyed this post. It's the small acts of kindness that can be so inspiring. Looking forward to reading more from you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful post! Stopping over from Friday Follow.

    ~Amber @ The Mom Road

    ReplyDelete
  8. We need to take time to see what others do and make a point to appreciate them.
    Nice blog:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Welcome Sheila, Amber and Peggy!

    I really appreciate your comments!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ron, thank you for your very appreciated sentiments. I work for a Canadian airline and it can be very hard to keep a smile on my face sometimes. I keep trying to remember that one passenger who treats me badly is not representative of all the other passengers. Also, I do not know what has happened before that passenger arrived at my counter. So, I also work hard at not being too judgmental. I admit it's not always easy. I helps when I read a post like this. I thank you and I am following you back from Friday Follow! I am now getting ready to go to work.... with a smile on my face and in my heart!

    www.conversationsatthepark.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Cathy,

    Many, many thanks for your kind remarks. I'm glad that the posting struck a chord with you. May you have a great day at work today and always!

    Ron

    ReplyDelete
  12. That was really beautiful! I am so glad you appreciated their hard work so many many people don't!

    I am so happy to be following you back - you really have a great blog!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank YOU for such a nice compliment, and come back for a visit any time!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Such an important lesson learned!! It is too bad that a lot of people in this world don't think that way...they just assume everything will come to them on a platter...and that is how they go through life. Sad...but true!

    ~WM

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow, what a fabulous reminder! It so easy to get caught up in our own little world that we don't notice those little acts of service that are taking place all around us.

    Following you back from FF! Thanks for coming by my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Cool comment, Jamie, thanks for saying so and visiting!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is so true! Often we can be grumpy, and all it takes is changing our attitudes around and then our day takes a whole new turn. Thanks for reminding me of this.

    And to thanks those who serve us so willingly and with cheerfulness, it makes life much better when someone serves you cheerfully(I need to remember this with my children!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Such truth and such a good reminder! We so often think only of ourselves instead of blessing those around us. I needed to read this story.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Lori and Lydia, Your kind comments are appreciated, thank you so much for your encouragement, and your insight!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey There Ron! Thanks So Much for the invite. I Love Your Perspective and Being part of the Body!! Be Blessed!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Happy Follow Friday! Thanks for visiting my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Sheena and Diane,

    Love that you paid a visit, thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. If only everyone could step out of their own shoes for a minute and see what's going on around them from another perspective!

    Well done, Ron. Thanks for visiting me, I'm returning the favour and will come again!

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks, Jenn, cool comment and I appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete
  25. So very, very true...and something we'd all do well to remember.

    ReplyDelete
  26. It's nice to get a reality check every now and then, isn't it? And those checks come in the stranges ways, don't they? They always seem a little magic to me.

    Very nice blog, Ron. I'm a new follower from FF. Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday. http://poweredbyjoy.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  27. Teddy SI, Yes, a little magic comes into our lives every day!

    ReplyDelete
  28. thanks for sharing this nice story Ron!

    ReplyDelete
  29. So nice of you to say so, Euroangel (love your name!)

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a great daily lesson! You're not the only one having a bad day, a good day or any kind of day at all. We all need to be reminded of this...some more often than others! :)

    When I was a teenager I worked in grocery store, and I used to see all kinds of people come through my checkout line...young families, single women or men in their 30s, and elderly folks, often now single. I remember one day an old woman came through my line. She was buying a few groceries for herself, and food for her cat. There was something very sad about her; she seemed lonely. I realized then that *I* might be the ONLY person who spoke to her on that day, so I had better be kind. That thought carried me through the rest of the time I worked there, and still stays with me now. What a wonderful world it could be if we all tried to really make our words and our interactions *count*...as if we could be the only one to speak to each person that day. How would we want them to feel when the day is over and they're going to bed? What would we want them to remember?

    Here's to making it all count! You got me...I'm Inspired! :D

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope to see you again soon!

    Heather! :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Heather,

    You're beautiful story of caring and sharing has made quite a difference in my life. I truly appreciate your kind comments!

    Ron :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. Ron, that reminds me of Wayne Dywer's saying, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change."

    Thanks for stopping by www.zen-mama.com today!

    ReplyDelete
  33. ZM, Thanks for sharing something from Wayne...right on the mark!

    ReplyDelete
  34. FANTASTIC!! My husband is a proprietor of a restaurant and I can't thank you enough for your thoughts about how the service industry often does a thankless job all in the name of serving "you." So awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love reading things that make me smile. Your entries always do that!

    ReplyDelete

 
Philosophy Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Site Meter TopOfBlogs Philosophy Blogs