My mother taught us to do good work because it expresses our own dignity and the value and worth of those we serve. And that we never know how ordinary things done well will be a gift to someone who’s hurting.
Last week, author and speaker Laura Roland discovered the power of a simple thing done with love, when she needed it most.
A quick stop at the market today and I was in a mood. Friends with a sudden cancer diagnosis, family with hurt hearts & my own ish made for a Monday for sure.
I needed 1 lemon, 1 bunch of asparagus and lettuce.
Muttering under my breath about all the ways life is hard and unfair, I wrestled a cart and proceeded to the produce aisle.
I only needed three things and I just wanted to get in and get out.
But I stopped short when I got to the lettuce.
The gentleman whose job it was to stock the produce section had literally created a masterpiece — of color and textures and flavors that I’m sure were heavenly once the food was prepared. He was so gentle with the food, carefully placing the carrots just so, and then moved a few cabbages up and over to the right to make room for the smaller heads, as if giving them center stage.
It was an ordinary moment for sure. Just a guy on a Monday morning doing what he does. An ordinary woman, rushed and grumpy.
Guess what though? Sometimes it’s in the ordinary moments of life that true beauty & simple pleasures hit us hardest.
I watched him for several minutes. He was humming to himself, a little smile on his face.
And I almost wept for the beauty of it.
I don’t know why I do these things — well okay I do know but still — I walked over to him and had it been socially appropriate I would’ve hugged him so hard. But I used my words instead.
“Thank you for creating this beautiful display. I can’t tell you how much it means to me to see these ordinary everyday items displayed so beautifully. It’s kind of a work of art.”
He looked at me for a long moment and then broke into the shyest, most generous smile and said, ”I can’t tell you how much it means to me that you noticed. I do this everyday and to me it’s just my ordinary work but I do like to make it look nice for people. I want them to see the goodness & beauty here in this aisle.”
That my friends is the power of ordinary. I love that we can find beauty and a moment of connection and care for the other in a produce aisle on a stupid Monday morning when the world seems just so ugly.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
Read more from Laura on Instagram at Laura@this_womans_journey