Staying True to Yourself

Today I found myself in a conversation with a young co worker of mine. Our conversation turned quickly to how each day was a day to seek making a difference. That it was always an option to do a little bit more and that all a person has to do was look for it.  That yes, sometimes it was difficult to see these moments but that they are everywhere, but only if we seek them.  Her sweet and kind countenance was so refreshing and was such a gift to me, more than I am sure she even realized. Here sat a young lady that was so full of hope and desire to do more for the world and be more than just a person that just waits for life to happen. It is so much easier to just sit sometimes isn’t it? Actually trying to see the good and be the change can be so hard at times. Sometimes for me it seems almost impossible. Certain situations and certain people can make those moments so unreachable.  Yet if we dig deep we can find those moments and a desire within ourselves to be the change.

In church this past Sunday we talked about perspective. That what may seem so perfect and ideal for one person can be the exact opposite for another person. I may love serving in a soup kitchen but my best friend may find it not quite their cup of tea. Sometimes seeing and being in situation that is less than ideal to what we may deem as important can feel the exact opposite for someone else. It is in these said situations that God pushes us beyond our own comfort zone.  These moments are not all roses and rainbows and growing pains are inevitable.  


The first time for anything can be so scary and unsettling. What if scary wasn’t quite so scary and if we sat back for one quick second and saw that the only thing we were fearing was the unknown. It is so blissfully easy to walk in and own whatever it is that we do on a day to basis.  It’s so comfortable and easy. The thought of failing a familiar thing is almost non existent.  We all have routines and ways of doing certain things. I know that I have a set way to get ready for work each morning despite the early hour that I have to wake up at. Once I get to work I have a set routine that myself and all of my coworkers adhere to. It’s easy and comfortable and I don’t have to put a lot of thought into how I do what I do.  We finish our work with efficiency and effectiveness.  What about when the alarm doesn’t go off and you are way late for work. How about when someone is sick and can’t come in to work? Small examples but it speaks the truth on so many levels. Work then becomes and uncertain and at times very challenging. Just today we had the entire evening shift call in sick. What was it that we were supposed to do then? It’s not always easy and it is in these moments that I learn more life lessons. People never cease to amaze me when they step in and help out. It’s not that they have to, or that we as manger team make them want to do more. It is simply that they want to help out.  It is so easy to think the worst of someone. We don’t meant to but we tend to think that people don’t care sometimes that their capacity to care is somehow to full and that we will have to suffer on. When in reality people care more than we think.  If all we seek is the negative in people it all we will be able to see.  


Seeing the negative can seem so much easier. Trust me just when I think I can’t take one more remake on a drink and someone else has called in, all I want to do is scream. Everyone has a breaking point, some closer to the surface than others.  I continue to find though that more I seek seeing the good in people the more I find it. Sometimes it’s buried deep below and there is only a small glimmer of what was once so easy to see. Life can wear a person down. Everyone is struggling to make it out there.  For some it may be making it up a certain career ladder, others it’s paying the bills, for many it’s putting food on the table, perhaps it’s depression or the feeling of being utterly lost that can make a person seem so unpleasant to be around. Do we actually get to see these struggles? Do we just somehow know that a particular individual is or is not happy with where they are? Maybe on the outside they are smiles and happiness but on the inside they just cant seem to get to where they want to be.  


That is where being the change comes in. Seek the good in people. Look for what some may have a hard time seeing. Is it going to be tough and not exactly fun sometimes? Of course it is and are we going to fail? Most definitely we will and it will not be an easy undertaking in this life. Take one of my now favorite customers. She was in the first several meeting testy, angry, and hard to talk too, let alone smile at. She never knew what she wanted and heaven forbid we asked too many questions. One day I decided I was going to to my best to make her smile at me. I might never make her like me as a fellow human being but I was going to see if she had a smile underneath all of her prickles.  I handed out her drink and was finishing running her card. I decided that the time had come for a perfectly timed cheesy and witty joke. It worked, she smiled and then told me more of her story. Little had I known she had in just a few short months been laid off from her job, lost her dad unexpectedly and was preparing for her mom to come live with her as a result. I was blown away. Had I only taken the time before to see what it was that was making life such a struggle. She now comes to the store with a smile on her lips and music in her soul. Two thing I had never taken the time to see before because I was too wrapped up in what I was seeing on the surface.  Remember everyone has a story.


The soul of a person lies deep and life sometimes has a way of making the journey of seeking the good people so tough. The truth is that everyone has a soul though. It’s what we do everyday and what we do with each person that we come into contact with that can change the world. It’s what I imagine a garden looks like. It’s full of different varieties of souls and not any one of them  is the same. Some souls have been well taken care of and are nurtured. Others though have been beaten down and have tougher exterior. Deep down there lies a common denominator. There is generally a want and desire to become a better version of ourselves everyday.  We all have the power to do as well as see something beautiful each time we venture out into this world and do our best to uncover what it that our fellow people can at times cover up so well. It is as if the world tells us that we don’t need to seek such wonder and delight in each person that we come into contact with. Kindness is often viewed as weakness.  That if we take the time to show such an emotion we will be taken advantage of and no one will take us seriously. It is however quite the contrary.  To show that we do care comes back as a bigger blessing than sometimes we ever see.  We don’t always get to see what happens when we return kindness for a less than ideal  situation but is generally more than worth the effort it takes to be the change. Maybe the individual you just took time for needed that time to feel like they mattered too.  


So here is to week of seeing the good in people. Don’t forget to take delight in each thing you set out to do each and everyday. Not exactly an easy thing to do and we all fall short of seeking such moments. I know that I can be the champion at such things.  Don’t let the world beat you down and take the desire to do and be more than we ever thought fathomable . It is a lifelong lesson that I am quite certain I will forever be running the race with.

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