I was driving the other day and I saw 3 gardeners working. I live in Florida, so in the middle of the day, in summer…It’s HOT!
They were sweating, exhausted, and covered in dirt. The first thought that came to mind, and this might be your first thought too…I’m glad I’m not doing that job.
Suddenly, I thought. Wait!!! I could be. If my life was different, I could be. Wait!!! They are doing an awesome service for those people, and they are mere workers so you know they’re only getting minimum wage.
I stopped my car, turned around and walked up to them. Here’s the conversation:
me: i walk up waving. They shake their head and look around. “Hi.”
The gardeners: “No. No. No. No English. No English” Waving their hands no vigorously.
(At his point, they put down their tools and their faces and body language said, we’re ready for a confrontation. )
Me: I smiled. In my best Spanish, “Do you speak English a little bit?”
Gardners: Yes. What you want!
ME: “I’d like to shake your hand and say thank you.” I put out my hand and they had no idea what was going on. They just looked at my hand. I repeated myself and their whole body deflated and they smiled. they each shook my hand heartily, and one of them pulled me in for a hug.
Garnder: “Why you say thank you?”
ME: Because I appreciate that you are doi9ng this work. I know it’s hard, and I know it’s hot. I’m just thankful you are doing it.
Gardners: A big smile appeared on their face….”You’re just saying thank you to us?
ME: I smiled and reached into my car and gave them 2 water bottles that I was going to be drinking very very soon, since it was 95 degrees. “Yes, I’m just saying thank you and I appreciate you and the work you do.
Gardners: “Thank you. We have to get back to work. Thank you so much. We really really appreciate it!”
ME: I got back in my car and drove off…as I drove i saw them smiling and waving at me.
I went to a big fancy luncheon. Everyone was eating and “networking”. I decided, though that whole networking idea would be great…there are things that are more important.
I walked over to the buffet table and there were two catering ladies helping people with their food. I explained tot hem that often this was a thankless job and we don’t often think about thanking the servers or the banquet people.
I told them both thank you so very much for helping us and helping the world. They both smiled and one fo the ladies began to cry.
They asked me what I did…when I explained Motivating For Positive Change, they were amazed! Their comment is priceless:
You mean you help make this world a better place? You thank everyone for doing the job they do…no matter how nasty or demeaning. We need to videotape you and have you teach EVERYONE how to do this. This si what the whole world needs to start doing.
And I think she is right. All we have to do is start saying thank you to people.
Thank you for the work they do.
Thank you for being there for me.
Thank you for sharing the planet with me.
Thank you for helping to change the world.
Thank you for motivating for positive change.
Who can you say thank you to today?