It appears a small reason to write, but it’s not.
Let today serve as a reminder to let you know you’re a world changer.
I’m enjoying a happy day today, courtesy of our local McDonald’s. . . . and it’s not because I ordered a Happy Meal. Today’s happiness factor was derived from the smiling faces and welcoming influence that greeted me at the McDonald’s drive-thru windows.
These employees served up a pleasant atmosphere that inspired today’s blog. They caused me a second drive-by to snatch a photo of yet another smiling employee who was busy serving up afternoon lunch.
Generally, mornings are my favorite part of the day. I’m usually quietly sequestered upstairs in the bedroom with a cup of coffee in hand while my husband surveys the internet for morning news downstairs, without my incessant chatter. It’s our ritual.
This morning, however, Jimmy and I were out the door early. I dropped him off at Tampa airport for his trip to NY and then motored over to a morning zumba class – something that always makes me happy.
Since today’s morning ritual was interrupted, I thought to make a special trip to McDonald’s after zumba. The rest of the day would be busy with food shopping, hitting the business “to do” list my husband left behind, putting together benefit items for a silent auction, and preparing for a radio interview tonight to promote my new book series.
The thought of grabbing a cup of coffee and treating myself to a breakfast sandwich beckoned me like a simple pleasure. A drive-thru, rather than a drop-in, at McDonald’s would be perfect. The morning was sunny and brisk and my car radio was playing a familiar tune from Genesis as I pulled in the McDonald’s lot and slowly rolled up to the first menu board.
“Good morning and welcome to McDonald’s. May I help you?”
The voice was female and her words were natural, not robotic. I noticed. I tendered my order and watched as my selections and prices appeared to the screen on my left.
“Will there be anything else, ma’am?” asked the pleasant voice from the speaker.
“Nope. That’ll be it,” I responded.
“That’ll be $2.14. Please drive up to the next window.” The voice was pleasant again, not just in word but in spirit.
I’m notorious for carrying around an extra 1 to 5 lbs in coins in my bag. The relaxed personality on the other side of the voice box indicated that today might be a day to loose myself from some of the excess change. The genuinely smiling face failed to grunt with impatience or derision as I dug into my wallet for exactly 14 cents. Then, it continued to wait patiently as my hands moved to the other side of my wallet to grab two singles.
“Thank you!” she noted. “Please pull up to the next window.”
The next window presented a near identical experience to the first – in atmosphere and smiles. Though the attendant’s image morphed from black female to white male, I was treated again to pleasant words, eye contact and interest.
“How are you today, miss?” asked the attendant as he extended coffee and a small bag through the window.
“I’m great. And you?”
“I’m very well, thank you.” The bright brown eyes met mine directly. Their interest and engagement fell in line with the previous employee. “Have a good day,” he reminded me as I began to move forward.
I couldn’t help myself. There was no one immediately behind me, so I decided to put the car in reverse. I rolled back a few feet to meet the young man who just sent me off with unrehearsed good wishes.
I caught him by surprise as he was already preparing for his next customer. Turning my way with uplifted eyebrows and the same engaging eyes, he looked at me expectantly.
“Excuse me,” I asked, “but do you have a good manager here?”
The young man smiled in acknowledgement. “Yes, we do,” he answered certainly, as if responding to the obvious.
“It’s very evident. Please tell your manager he or she is doing a great job here.”
It’s only a McDonald’s drive-thru, but the 2 minute experience today proved a spirit lifter. I live in the brick and mortar world, but noticing environments that promote light, peace and goodwill is one of my favorite past times. I notice and I’m totally committed to recognizing any environment that shines forth a positive ray for others to enjoy.
When I first went public as Maura4u, I thought of only one thing: what’s the good news and how can I promote it? My personal happiness comes from spotlighting people, events and ideas that uplift. I wanted to unify, brighten and help others see the possibilities for being a positive influence. I eventually wrote a book on the topic.
Today, the good news was some unseen manager at our local McDonald’s in Clearwater, Florida. In some wonderful, if otherwise overlooked fashion, that person is doing his or her part to help brighten the world.
Seen or unseen, heralded publicly or not, you are a world changer too.
Never underestimate your power.
Maura Sweeney is a public speaker and author of The Art of Happiness.