So, I’m at Aldi the other day, just grabbing some really quick staples before I’ve got to head to school to pick up my kids.
Anyway, if anyone knows Aldi, you know that when the groceries come through the conveyor belt and the person checking them through does it, you’ve got to stack them or pack them into your bag yourself.
So I’m standing there, and there’s two elderly ladies ahead of me that have got not a huge amount of items, but quite a number of items that have got to go through.
And so this first elderly lady, she is doing hers and every single item that comes off, she’s putting it into the bag really slowly and really methodically and then the next one and rearranging it.
Now, in the meantime, because she’s so slow doing this, the queue in the line to go through the checkout is just getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
And there’s only one checkout open, so there’s not even an alternative.
Now I’m standing there, and literally the time is counting down, in five minutes I’m going to have kids standing on the street wondering where their pickup is.
And anyway, so she was slow going through this, what was so beautiful is when her groceries were all finally packed, there was a young guy at the checkout, I don’t know maybe about 19 or 20 and he had this gorgeous, curly, dark, floppy hair.
Anyway, the woman paid with cash, (which is quite rare these days), but she paid with cash.
And so the guy at the checkout had taken the change out of the till, and he reached over to her and (we couldn’t have done this during COVID), but he reached over to her, he held her hand, he put the money, the change in her hand, and kind of grasped and said, “you have a gorgeous day.”
It was absolutely beautiful.
So I’m standing there and of course getting more anxious about trying to get to school pick up and all of a sudden just his calm, beautiful, patience, just put this ginormous smile on my face.
Then the same thing happened for the next woman who was also an elderly woman, also paid for cash, and again, he did the same thing.
He kind of reached over, took her hand and said, “you have a lovey day.”
So when it got time for me to go up to the checkout, obviously I was zooming through and shoved everything in the bag and that, but the guy stood and when I went to pay on card, I’m still smiling, I’m beaming literally from watching this.
And he said to me, “your smile has absolutely made my day.”
And I was laughing.
Because I said to him, “the reason I’m smiling is because I was watching your patience and your kindness with these women even though the queue by now was getting longer and longer.”
And people were obviously getting a bit agitated. I said “your kindness and your approach to making them feel really special and really that things are okay” was so beautiful. That’s why I’m smiling.”
And I share this because I thought sometimes, and especially in this world we’re in now where we’ve kind of gone from zero to a hundred, and you know, straight back onto the speed skating rink from not having skated for a couple of years.
That when do we stop and just recognise, and have patience and be kind?
When do we stop and do that?
When do we stop and just smile, because we’re seeing something nice or because something’s enjoyable?
And it doesn’t happen very often.
And to be honest, so I’ve left smiling because of him, he’s now smiling because of me, which was quite cute.
So it’s super contagious.
But I looked back at the queue and everybody else in Aldi, guess what they were doing to?
They were smiling.
What was even funnier is as I left Aldi and walked to my car, I still had this big grin on my face.
And it’s really surprising that when you walk around with a really big smile on your face, people look at you and they actually look at you with that, what’s going on with you, you’re odd?
Anyway, I thought it was a beautiful reminder about you know, when things have gone back to being so crazy (as they are) when you can just stop and have a smile.
When you can just really look someone in the eye, put a big smile on your face, whether you’re in a meeting, whether you’re just walking past them, they’re sitting at reception, whether you’re in a supermarket shopping center, or the checkout at Aldi, your smile is contagious.
It signals a warmth and a kindness that right now I reckon we can all do with a whole heap more of.
So a big smile from me to you.
Because after all, You are Valuable!