This I Believe

Andrew - Winfield, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in Refusing the Return

If there is one good lesson that I have learned in my life, it is that every once in a while it is good to refuse a return.

Everyone is human; pretty basic knowledge, right? It just seems to me that people seem to forget that the person helping them is a human being.

How many times have you taken the time to stop a second and greet the man mowing your lawn? Or even the girl at the checkout counter at Jewel? How many times have you forgotten altogether that the person helping you out has any feelings at all?

Most people forget. They get lost in their day-to-day life, and are so focused on whatever is next on their agenda that they forget about the common courtesies that can make all the difference in someone’s day.

That is why I believe in refusing the return. I believe that every once in a while it is good to tell someone that, “No, you cannot return the three dollar pair of underwear, they were worn and that’s disgusting.” I believe it’s good because it brings them out of their own little non-stop world and reminds them that you are a human. The person will respond with one of two reactions: They will either yell at you to make you feel as small as they possibly can, or they will suck up their frustration say, “thank you” with a kind smile, and walk away.

The latter of the two is what makes my belief worthwhile. That little bit of extra interaction, that kind smile can make all the difference. It makes the difference between a terrible day and a good day. Most people don’t realize how the little things in life matter. A little smile to the sixteen year old boy bagging your groceries, a compliment and a nice tip to the girl who just finished washing your car, even starting a conversation with the little old greeter at Wal-Mart, every single one of these small gestures can turn a bad day into an amazing one.

There was one time when I had gone into work with a bad attitude and could not stop imagining all the ways that my day could get worse, when a kind old lady offered to buy me cocoa because she thought I looked cold. I politely declined of course, but that kind woman made all the difference in my day. After she had left I was in a wonderful mood. It’s as if her kindness was contagious; I could not stop smiling and showing kindness unto others.

The small things in life, the little smile, the nice compliment, the kind offer. Every one of these actions can make every bit of difference. You never know how they could change somebody’s day.