Monday, February 20, 2012

A Key Point

The other day, the lock on my backdoor broke. As any homeowner will appreciate, my first two thoughts were, "Now I have to find the time to meet the locksmith," and "How much is this going to cost me?" When I got around to calling the locksmith, he started to book an appointment with me, but then said,"Let me ask you a few questions first." I answered his questions about what specifically was wrong with the lock. He told me these blockages were quite common and then he gave me a quick fix. He suggested I try it, and call him back if the problem persisted. Ten minutes later, I had a functioning lock.

So that got me thinking. The locksmith had two choices in his response to my call. He could have come to the house, done the ten minute fix himself and charged me for the call, or he could have given me the quick fix, as he did. There would have been nothing at all wrong or dishonest about the first choice. I did not have the expertise to solve the problem - he did. Had he come and fixed my lock, I would have been satisfied with his service and willing to pay for it. It's the basis of capitalism, after all. And, if these blocked locks are as common as he says, I imagine they can be the bread and butter of a small business, in between their bigger jobs. In this economy, they would help pay the bills. But this gentleman locksmith went a step further.  He chose kindness.

Anyone who works with the public is exposed to the whole "squeaky wheel" thing on a daily basis. It seems that a business owner hears less often from the many that are satisfied than from those few who are not. But there's a choice made here that effects how we live. Today, sit down and write a thank you note to someone who has provided you with a service well and kindly. Then make a picture that represents the transaction, as I did above.

Now, consider how doing this will effect your day. I imagine you will spend ten to fifteen minutes thinking through your recent positive interactions with people. You will choose one to focus on, and it may take you ten minutes to write your thank you note. Then you will be off in search of your picture. And every minute that you spend considering, composing, and printing your picture is time spent considering the kindness that was given to you. That's balm for your soul.

You can spend your day thinking about how unlucky it was that your lock broke, or you can spend your day thinking about the kindness that resulted from it. Which is the more pleasant day? You can choose to stay in lock-down or you can open up to the goodness around you.

                                               It's your choice.
                                  And it's really kind of a no-brainer.


Dotti said...

A beautiful photo, a beautifully written post and an important reminder for all of us. One of the things I've learned ... alas, the hard way ... is not to sweat the small stuff. And, I've long been a believer in thank you notes. Writing thank you notes was passed from my grandmother to mother, my mother to me, I've passed it on to my daughter who in turn has already been teaching her 4-year old the beauty of thank you notes. Yes, the beauty of thank you notes. As I used to tell my daughter, "If you have a thank you note to write, it means you were lucky enough to have someone do something nice for you." Thank you, Carol, for this lovely reminder.

LeeAnn Melofchik said...

Carol, Loved your post. My favorite line is, "You can choose to stay in lock-down or you can open up to the goodness around you." The title, "A Key Point," is also perfect and clever. Like you and Dotti, I'm a believer in thank you notes and have passed this tradition on to my daughters. "... [I]t's really kind of a no-brainer!"

Keep your posts coming. I'm a big fan!


Karen Harvey Cox said...

Hi Carol,

Beautiful photograph, and I love your words. Just look at that man's goodness, and how now it has trickled down through your words to us. I like your idea about thanking people who do a good job, instead of grumbling about the bad. Carol, I am so glad that I met you through Focusing on Life. I love the way you think, and your photography is a window into your heart.

susan said...

I love this. Everything about your post is from the heart. Thank you for starting off my week thinking of the good out there instead of what we wake up to every morning when reading the news...the tragedy and sadness in our world. There is goodness to be recognized out there! Thank you Carol! xo's!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol -

What a wonderful post - and one that I really needed to read - I have been having a tough week and your post reminded me to look for the good and not focus on the bad - so I want to take this opportunity to thank YOU for this lovely reminder.


Deanna said...

What an amazing heart-felt post...I loved it. Your words were filled with beautiful thought-provoking suggestions on how to live a more thankful life. I felt myself hmmming, which is my way of appreciation for something special.

terriporter said...

Love the photo and your post is wonderful! It's one of those things that we should read every morning to keep it in the forefront of our minds as we go about our day. So much better to be thankful for the good than bitter about the bad. Thank you for the reminder. Great way to start off the week!

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Good morning to you my friend. This post brought tears to my eyes, because I know you are exactly this kind of person always. I know that your note to this gentleman will inspire him to keep doing the "good work" he is doing.

With the world and our fast paced emails and text messages -- a hand written note is a rare thing... but a heart felt note is to be cherished.

Since the beginning of this year I had a goal (not a resolution LOL) to do a random act of kindness every day... I know it has helped me be a better person. I loved this post! thanks


Claudia@DipityRoad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

Thanks you for the kind feedback. I hope your week gets better!

Cathy H. said...

Wonderful post!! I read a book entitled "Give Today A Chance." It focused on the fact that each day we decide what kind of day this will be. We decide how we will react to whatever occurs. Will we be angry or forgiving or joyful? Others can influence our day, but ultimately we choose how we react! So many times we don't acknowledge the kindness that someone has shown us! Thanks for the great reminder to go one set ahead and send notes of even phone calls that lets someone know we appreciate their kindness!

Linda said...

Sometimes it is difficult to see the good when something unexpected happens. Thanks for the reminder! It's always better to be positive than ruin the whole day over something! I love the key picture!

stephmull said...

Great thoughts, Carol! We definitely can choose how to see a situation and I appreciate the reminder to dwell on the good that can result from something not so good. Love your photo too!!

Michelle Renee said...

Your pretty key photo caught my I recently got locked out of my house without my keys, my phone, or camera (neighbors were all at work). I spent the day cleaning our garage and bonus room (six hours) until my kids got home. In that time I was able to reflect on the things I often take for granted. Great post!

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