Building Postive Relationships

A Welcome Encounter

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The Power of Positive Actions

Yesterday something truly amazing happened. My wife suggested we eat at one of our favorite fast-food places, so we drove a few miles to a local mall and set out for the Panda Express. While my spouse examined the food trays on display, trying to decide what to order, I happened to look back toward the entrance where we’d come in . . . and saw someone sprinting towards me.

I instantly recognized her, a person who’d served us often at that very same restaurant. She ran up, cried “You’re back! I’m so glad to see you,” and then gave me a tight hug before adding, “I must greet your wife also.” And she did, with an identical big hug.

Now, why was that so amazing? Not because we’re both Caucasian and that wait-staff person is multi-racial. Not because we were about to buy food at that restaurant, since our ‘hugging admirer’ told us she no longer works there. No, something else was going on, what Carolyn Myss calls “invisible acts of power” [cf. her book by the same name, published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, New York, 2004].

So often we discount the little things we do each day, buying into the myth that the world’s problems are so large we couldn’t possibly influence things for the better. Yet, time and again, news programs are beginning to report the positive things around us that some people are doing -- kids who sell lemonade to raise funds for a good cause, parents of a murdered child who start a support foundation for others in that same situation, or an older man who repairs donated bicycles in order to give them away free to children in his hometown.


Do the Little Thing!

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Tap Into the Energy Field around You!

Little things matter, and they add up. Like rain drops that fill oceans and rivers, each of our actions count. Which brings me back to that ‘hugging’ individual, now employed by another fast food restaurant (owned by the same chain as her former employer). The very first time we bought food from her, she was friendly and outgoing. Since she wore a nametag, we started calling her by name. As time went on, she remembered what we’d usually order and which drinks (sizes, and how much ice) we preferred. In turn we would chat about the business and ask about her, and when she took a second job at a food shop next door we noticed that too and asked how she was doing. Each time we were in the mall, even on days when we didn’t eat there, we’d wave and call out her name as we passed by, and if she saw us first she’d wave and her face would light up.

But until yesterday, we never exchanged hugs, in part because there was always a counter between us, I guess. But in an instant all that changed, and this time it was my wife and I who were the recipients of an unexpected grace-filled moment. All because three people had taken time to show interest in each other and treat one another with positive energy. That’s all it took.

It’s not the first time my wife and I have witnessed what can happen when you treat people with respect and send out positive signals. We make it a point to smile and say ‘thank you,’ to note the other person’s mood and offer an encouraging comment if the time is right, and regularly send businesses an e-mail or turn in a written message to compliment an employee by name when they’ve given us excellent service.

There’s an energy field that exists all around us, and we can either contribute positively to that endless resource or burden others with our negativity. It’s a choice, a choice too few people either know about or consider before they act. But making a conscious decision to add to the world’s dynamism in positive ways is crucial. It doesn’t matter if you’re an elected official in high office, a world leader, or just a customer or employee. What we do, counts.

Sometimes, it even produces hugs!

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