This I Believe

Elizabeth - Seattle, Washington
Entered on November 6, 2006

I’m a fulltime student in my fifth year of university, getting ready to change majors and still trying to graduate in the next year. I’m the Public Relations officer for my team, in charge of our website, fundraising, and generally portraying us to the public. And up until last Saturday, I had a part-time job in Seattle, ninety miles away, that I drove to every weekend and went home for every summer for the last three years. Life can get really busy. Between group projects in- and outside of the classroom, trying to organize fundraisers and horse shows for the team, and being a sales associate, I have a tendency to get stressed out; really stressed out. On the days when I truly think that I cannot deal with one more customer dropping $300 dresses on the floor, or that I’ll scream if I get one more email from the team president, the smallest thing can calm me down almost immediately and bring a smile to my face:

“Thank you so much, you’re doing such a great job,” or “We really appreciate your hard work.”

Isn’t it amazing how the seemingly simplest words can suddenly fix everything and make all the hard work worth it? I could be ready to drop everything and quit, just be done, and a phrase like that will make me take a deep breath and carry on. In an age when common sense and common courtesy seem to be the two least common things in the world, just the slightest bit of kindness can catch a person entirely off guard. If only we could all remember that every now and then, everyone needs to hear to simple words of encouragement.

It doesn’t take much effort or much time to put an arm around a friend, or stop by the desk of a coworker, or look into the eyes of the person behind the counter, and say, “You’re doing a good job. Thank you.” It takes so little and yet it seems to give so much. Those little acknowledgements that all my endeavors do not go unnoticed mean the world to me; they keep me going and remind me that whatever project I’m working on, I’m doing it for a reason. Everyone gets stressed; that’s life. Even so, I wish that everyone, even on their bad days, could remember that the smallest gesture could completely make the day for someone else.

As sappy as it sounds, if we all remembered this, the world might be a happier place. This, I believe.