How great am I?

“We would love to hear from you!”

                           “Please fill out this brief survey to tell us how we did!”

           “Tell us how we can serve you better.”


It seems as if everyone wants to know how great they did before they actually do anything! Now, to be fair not every place I visit on the web bombards me with a request for accolades. Some wait until I’m finished browsing their website. And some let me go on my merry way without accosting me. And I do mean accosted.

When I visit a store online it is usually with a purpose. Sometimes I’m looking for something in particular and sometimes I’m just browsing. But leave me the hell alone! I even hate going into actual stores only to have the sales staff continually assail me with questions and offers of their assistance. Don’t be too far away when I want something but don’t pester me. I know everybody wants to make a buck but that will chase me out of the store faster than a bad smell. I mean that.

Have you ever gone to a good restaurant and had your wait staff continually question the quality of your meal? Sometimes they are fawning over your every mouthful. They will interrupt your conversation just so you can tell them how good they are or how wonderful the meal is. A really good way to lose your tip! A good waiter will anticipate the diners’ needs without interrupting. A good waiter has eyes in the back of their head and can see when their diners require something. I have been served by really good waiters. I have also been served by really bad ones. The former is a pleasure, the later not so much.   The quality of the service can enhance or detract from the experience.

I guess as I get older I am becoming more aware of service, good service. I appreciate what it takes to provide that service and I look for it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not holding people up to a standard from long ago but I am holding them to a standard. Good service, like good manners, should not be a thing of the past.



What does an elephant think about

As he stands inside a zoo

What passes through his mind

As he’s looking back at you?


What does a pigeon think about

As he soars above the crowds

Perhaps it just a simple thing

As he plays amongst the clouds.


A single ant is scurrying

His job it must be done

The others they depend on him

The many and the one.


A crow is thinking, I can tell

He cocks his head at me

Is he looking at my lunch

Does he think it’s free?


Behind, beside and over there

Are those we do not know

But they have thoughts and feelings

Just like that silly crow


What does a person think about

And he looks upon another

Race and colour notwithstanding

Could he be my brother?


This crazy world that we call ours

We’re only tenants here

Mind your manners, p’s and q’s

Or next the end is near!

A Blast From the Past

The Domino Effect   (January 2014)

 I want to say something profound and memorable. I wanted my first full post of 2014 to be something people spoke about to each other for days and weeks. And then I realized I had it all wrong. It’s not about the words I use. It’s not about how I feel about what I write. It’s about reaching out from the isolation of my home to the world. We are not alone. We never have been.

I’m a big believer in the importance of chance. You meet a stranger on the street and you smile in an abstract, bored sort of way. The person you smile at doesn’t realize you are bored and his spirits are lifted just a tiny bit and when he gets home to his wife he’s kinder. His wife spends a little longer getting dressed that night because she’s starting to believe she’s beautiful because her husband was kind. She speaks gently to her child that night and he goes to sleep feeling loved. The next day he goes to school and does exceptionally well on a test because he feels good about himself. His teacher is thrilled that her problem student has done well and she feels better about herself thinking she’s the reason. She goes home that night . . . All of this happened because one woman smiled at a stranger. It’s a domino effect.

We live on this little blue world made of dirt and water and people. There are a lot of us. There are wars and hunger, violence and apathy. Every day we deal with our own perceived inadequacies, our own diseases. But there’s one thing we must never forget: somewhere, someone is in much worse shape than we are. Somewhere, someone is watching their life blood seep through a gaping wound, alone and frightened. Somewhere, someone is watching as a loved one slowly succumbs to a painful and deadly disease. A woman is raped and beaten, killed. A man is shot dead by a stranger for his empty wallet. A woman feels the hands of a lover on her throat tightening. Children are shot by children, men and women are tortured, planes crash, people are dying of hunger, disease and greed.

You have a choice. I have a choice. We can give in, be victims and wallow in our own self-pity. Or we can take what quality of life we have, embrace it, relish it, enhance it if we can, and live. Reach out to the stranger next to you and smile. We are all in this together.