So speaking of listening, I wanted to tell you about a young man who has made a great impression on me and mine.
Yesterday in the midst of our out and abouts, the littles and I found ourselves next door to the GW Boutique on the other side of town. Lest you think I was shirking my duty in hunting down bargains, the spot next door (where they had the GW BOOtique last September and October) is now the Last Chance GW. Only open on Tuesday-Thursday and filled with racks of well-organized clothes, every piece of clothing is 99 cents on Tuesdays and the price goes down from there.
I mean name brand jeans for 99 cents? Shirts, shorts for littles who are going to wear them out anyway?
That’s something I can get excited about.
After we perused the racks (not as long as I would have liked–the littles were saddened that it was only clothes), we popped in next door at the Boutique. We poked around for a few minutes and I found a couple of things for next winter. (Yes, I know, this one isn’t over yet, but I’m trying to think positively.) I said no to things we already have too much of, and we headed to the checkout.
A young man who has waited on me there at least once before was at the register. I don’t know his name–no name tag, and I regret not asking. He is so friendly, and you can tell he really loves his job. Because of that, I love my experience there. He listens and he comments and he’s just one of those people who lifts your spirits with his general outlook on the world.
As we talked about my purchases, he commented on my necklace–the one I wear every day. How much he liked it. I thanked him and smiled. I’m about 95% sure he told me he liked it last time I was there and we talked. He’s a noticer.
He might notice things a little more than most because he has a hearing impairment. Or maybe that’s not why. Still he pays close attention. I’ve noticed that I need to make sure he can see my mouth when I’m speaking, and we carry on great conversations. It’s because he pays close attention to more than just necklaces and purchase items; he pays attention to people. He looks at you when he is speaking, and that is so HUGE in this day and age of carrying on conversations with heads bowed over keyboards and phones. And he doesn’t just listen to reply–he listens to hear.
I really enjoy being around his kind spirit. Yesterday as we were talking, he pointed to the flowerpot at the end of the checkout counter. “Yeah. Someone hurt my plant.”
All I could see were little twig like bits sticking up no more than an inch and a half above the soil.
“It was growing so good, but someone just broke it off.” Our eyes met. “I don’t know who or why.”
Oh my heart. “I am so sorry that someone would do that to you–to your plant. I’m sorry.”
A shadow seemed to lift, and he smiled. “Oh it will be okay. I always kill plants–can’t make them grow. But that one…..anyway, I will make a trip over to Wal-Mart and I’ll try it again.” He paused and then gestured toward the end of the counter behind him. “That one down there is doing really well. It was donated. So now it’s the Goodwill plant.”
The Goodwill plant was lovely and a vibrant green. “Wow. That is awesome.”
“Yeah, when they first brought it in, it wasn’t doing so good, but look at it. They took it outside for a bit today too. I think it liked it.”
I nodded. “I’m sure it did. Obviously Goodwill has been good for that plant.”
And it hit me as I was walking out, explaining to my girl why we had to make sure our friend could see our lips moving when we spoke to him, that a little (or a lot) of goodwill is pretty much good for all living things, isn’t it?
Tonight I’m thankful for the kind folks whose paths cross with mine and for how they lift my spirits. I’m thankful for this young man who is kind and a noticer, for those are the folks who make each person they meet feel important and special. And I’m thankful for his love of the things that grow, and the lesson he taught me in those few moments about listening, really listening.
May we all learn to listen to hear and to notice the little things. And the big ones. And all those in between.
Love to all.