There was a customer who came into the store. She was looking for peat pots for a project she was doing at the local nature center. Hopelessly, she said, "No place has them," and I interrupted and said, "But we do. We just set the stuff up last week," and I led her to where they were. She was much pleased. I headed back to my register, leaving her and her husband at the display.
I headed back to the register, stopping to blab with somebody else, and eventually I was ringing up peat pots for my original customers. She looked at me intently. "You're Debby _____, aren't you?" and I looked up. "Yes, I am." She extended her hands and said, "What are you doing working here? You're smart! You need some sort of important job." She explained to her husband that I was a writer in the paper, and that I'd worked for the county, etc. While she talked, I bagged her stuff. I wondered about that. I need an important job. I know that she meant to be kind. I know that she was paying me a compliment. But my job is important. It pays for college. It provides income to my family. I meet great people. I work with great people. My job is relaxing, strangely enough. They kindly work around my school schedule, and I know that's a pain in the butt. My job is important. It is important...to me. And if I am doing that job right, my job is important to the people I meet as well. Lonely people. Busy people. People who like to laugh. I meet many people, many, many people, and I have just a few minutes to make a difference. I try to be mindful of that. I try to use my time wisely. To encourage, to watch, to inspire, or to be inspired. I look at this woman, and I tell her how lucky I am to have this job. She looks at me as if she doesn't believe me, not all the way, but she smiles and says, "If you are happy, I am happy for you."
I've been thinking about that. About importance. I've come to the same conclusion that I always have come to. We all are important. We all matter.Think about that today, people. Think about that as you go about your business today. Let your words and tone reflect that with every interaction.