This morning, I bought my usual Diet Coke at my usual drive-through. Because it’s summer, there are lots of new young faces taking the orders. Today, as I pulled up to get my drink, a young woman leaned out the window, “Diet Coke?” When I nodded, she said, “Great! I’ve been waiting for you.”
I always like to see cheerful people on the job. For one reason, I am a sensitive soul, and I like folks to be nice to me. And, of course, cheerful people present a much better image to the public. But, most important, I suspect that these folks know the secret to happiness: that most of it is due to attitude.
Let’s face it: A goodly portion of our daily lives can be kind of dreary. We often find ourselves doing the same thing again and again. We clean things only to find them dirty the next time we look. We cook a meal and then four hours later, we’re called to prepare another one. We finish a report only to find another one assigned. We listen to the same complaints we listened to the year before and the year before that and the year . . .
Okay, so the bad news is that the world is not inclined to go out of its way to make us happy. Our happiness is not on the top of other people’s lists. (Well, except for our moms.) The good news is that we get to choose how we interact with the world.
I’m guessing the cheerful woman at McDonalds today probably didn’t find reaching out into the rain to hand people food the most fulfilling job in the world. She probably wished she had more time to spend on her studies, her relationships, even her makeup routine. But no matter what her other desires were, she managed a cheerful thing to say to each person who drove up.
And so each person was a tiny bit happier for having seen her today.
Is that something that can be said about the rest of us?