Enriching Life

I’m intrigued when I see two people engaged in similar tasks but provide different responses to helping others.

One bank teller smiles and says, “Hello, how can I help you?” Another says, “Next!”

One bank teller says, “I don’t have any two-dollar bills.” (I use two-dollar bills for tipping skycaps and bellmen.) Another says, “Although I don’t have any two-dollar bills, if you can wait a moment I’ll see if I can obtain some for you.”

One teller, working in a bank adjacent to a senior retirement community, sees an older person approaching and says to the visiting supervisor, “See how grumpy these old people are?” An adjacent teller waits patiently for the elderly senior citizen to approach her window and comments, “So nice to see you today.”

So why does one person attempt to bring sunshine and another find a way to bring darkness? I think it has less to do with the boss, the family, the environment, the situation, the job, hormones, television, or ornery people than we think. I suspect it’s actually about one’s mindset.

Some people see at their awakening each morning that existence demands mutual-supportiveness and civility. This has nothing to do with status, profession, or subculture. It has everything to do with outlook. I’ve seen nurses who were unsympathetic and needlessly cruel and police officers in riot gear who were polite and respectful.

If you FEEL the world is out to get you, you probably THINK it is. But if you believe your existence is largely what you make it and how you react to situations and stimuli, you’ll enjoy yourself more. And if you manage to help someone else make out well along the way, that’s money in the bank of life.