I realize that in my writing I often come across as disgruntled. Generally, I am not. I am particularly fortunate this summer. I’m living and working in a beautiful area, high in the mountains, surrounded by huge green trees. I wake up to bird song instead of the annoying buzz or beep of an alarming clock. I can do my morning chores whenever I want, so if I’m moved to write for a while before I get out of bed, I can. I get along with my co-workers and my supervisor. The majority of the people I meet are friendly and polite.
Unfortunately, true stories about friendly and polite people don’t have the punch of stories about jerks and idiots.
A friendly and polite people story would go something like this: The campers who stayed on site 6 last night were pleasant and caused me no problems.
Or maybe: Today a driver had the $5 parking fee ready when she pulled into the lot, and she handed it to me with a smile.
Also: When a man and his young-adult son paid their parking fee, the son handed me a $10 bill and said they also wanted to pay the fee for the next strangers who pulled in.
I will do my best to work these positive folks into my stories, lest my readers think I am perpetually grumpy and negative.
I did have a positive experience last time I was in Babylon. I stopped to fill my gas tank on my way out of town. The young man working the counter at the gas station/convenience store was bubbling over with positivity and good cheer. He was obviously a person who saw the glass as half full and wanted to offer a drink to everyone he met.
I think I saw his positivity first in the way he greeted me when I approached the counter. I could tell he really meant the Hello or Good Afternoon he gave me. He didn’t mumble or look past me. He looked right into my eyes and spoke directly to me, while smiling BIG. The smile was on his face, and in his voice too. He wasn’t simply practicing good customer service. He really meant that smile.
I said something dumb, like You sure are happy, and then we were grinning at each other.
We spent a few minutes telling each other how life is short and how lucky we are, how really good life is. We were each preaching to the choir, but I walked back to my van smiling, feeling buoyant. This young clerk really lifted my spirits and reminded me of my great fortune in living this life of mine.