It’s been five months of being told, daily by the people in charge, to be nice to others.
That’s sort of what it feels like in kindergarten.
Come to think of it, reflecting on some of the self-entitled temper-tantrums we’ve witnessed on the news, on the street, and on social media, it’s exactly like kindergarten.
Yet, who among us hasn’t had the itch, on a bad day, to slap the next closest person the next time we are told to be nice?
What is nice going to do for me, exactly?
Is it going to stop me from contracting COVID, like eating garlic or gargling with salt water?
Is it going to ease the financial and work stress associated with the pandemic?
Is it going to put toilet paper on the shelves?
So, meet Sandra Webster.
Most people who live in Princeton and area know Sandra.
She worked for several decades at a local bank, and for the past 11 years, at Save On Foods.
Sandra is not your everyday ‘did you find everything you were looking’ for kind of cashier.
Two weeks ago she retired. Her last shift was punctuated by gifts, cards, tears and laughter.
It must nearly have killed her, not being able to hug.
A post to a community Facebook page, noting this special day, received 716 likes and 389 comments, plus eight shares.
To a word, everything said was nice.
That’s remarkable, to say the least, and miraculous, to say the most.
This is a Facebook group comprised of more than 4,000 people who ordinarily cannot agree on the colour of the sky on a cloudless day.
Everyone agrees though, that Sandra is special.
“I’ll never forget the times you held both my kids as babies for a snuggle while we finished up at your till, or rang in my groceries one handed while you rocked them because they were fussy! “
“Your smile and kindness always brightened my day when I ran into you at the store.”
“Save On will not be the same without Sandra. She makes your worst days better.”
“I would wait in the longer line up if it meant going through your till.”
“Sandra! You’re the best! Always taking time for each customer in such a lovely, kind way! We’ll miss chatting with you! It was like talking to a dear friend!”
There is more, of course…well, 384 other messages of gratitude and congratulations.
And it’s a bag of food for thought.
There are numerous ways one person can make a difference in the world, both for good or ill.
Often we associate the ability to impact the lives of others with influence or wealth.
A smile, someone remembering your name, asking after your family, giving you her undivided attention for a few moments and checking in, to make sure you are okay?
That can change another person’s day.
Maybe there is something to this niceness and kindness we’ve been hearing so much about.
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