These are trying times. We all know this. And the fear of the devastating illness the world is dealing with is just part of it, albeit a huge part, of course. But the isolation so many face daily can be even more overwhelming and I believe COMPASSION needs to be the word of the day – every day.
I am so fortunate. I’m not isolated at all, and I am certain that helps me find it easy to be compassionate with the people I meet every day everywhere. I am an “essential worker.” While I’m not a doctor or nurse, not a first responder, my colleagues and I are absolutely on the front lines. We meet the public each day at a very popular national chain of “corner markets” and most, if not all, of us believe that compassion is first on the list of our responsibilities. This has always been my nature, so what a career for me to have at this point in my life.
When people come to the store, the first thing they see is a line of people outside standing six feet apart. “Oh, no!” is their first thought. We know this because they tell us later. But the line moves quickly and they enter the store. You can see the stress on their faces as they begin to shop. We’re all quite busy stocking, straightening, rushing back and forth, moving in and out of the back room, but NEVER too busy to stop and chat. Then there’s that “I wonder where this is” look. My favorite approach is, “What can’t you find?” Ah, a smile. This leads to a bit of conversation and the rest, well…
Finally, checking out at the register is not just cha-chinging. We talk about family, what they’ve been doing. Have they been able to work? So many work from home now, of course, that this is literally the highlight of their week. I ask them and they tell me honestly that it actually is! Just the other day I had a customer who hadn’t been out shopping since March. March! You can imagine what her total bill was, and we had a great conversation. Flowers for a birthday or anniversary. Candy for travel. I just love making people’s day a bit brighter. I carry it with me wherever I go. You know, people can see you’re smiling – even with your mask on. It’s in your eyes.
Jan is a singer, a songwriter, a licensed body worker specializing in CranioSacral Therapy, and a teacher. She is an advocate for the ethical treatment of ALL animals and a volunteer with several animal advocacy organizations. She is also a staunch believer in the need to promote environmental responsibility.
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