Wednesday, February 22, 2012

We all need to be appreciated

At work at L'Arche yesterday, the office was empty except for Glen and me. Everyone else was attending various meetings, but I was typing minutes, and Glen, one of our Core Members, was shredding documents -- a task that our people with disabilities enjoy because they often like to help. Glen, who is in a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy, fed papers into the shredder with infinite patience, I kept on at my keyboard, and every few minutes, we would exchange a few words about the weather or our activities on the long weekend or what we were doing in our respective spots.

At one point, I was deep in my typing, and I suspect I missed something Glen said to me. It took a few minutes before I noticed that he had stopped shredding papers. I looked up, and saw his eyes stealth-slide from me back to his work. I said, "Gee, Glen, you're working so hard, you're going to wear that poor shredder right out."

He smiled his great big Glen smile for the briefest moment, and then his face became very serious as he went back to his task with more concentration and vigor than ever. I realized that he had just been waiting to be appreciated and acknowledged. And sure enough, about ten minutes later, the shredder shut itself down because it was overheating!

I think we're all a bit like Glen. I know I am! I love to be appreciated for the little things I do. And there are times when I'm tempted to stop doing some of those little things until someone notices and gives me that little extra pat on the back to energize me again. I especially appreciate it from my kids! And sometimes I'm smart enough to appreciate aloud the people in my life who work hard behind the scenes -- or in front of them. The words thank you rarely go astray...

So, your secret mission for today is to notice someone who is doing a thankless task, or someone who doesn't expect to be thanked for doing their job, and thank them for it. I'll bet they'll smile a big smile like Glen's.


  1. Well, I live alone and I haven't seen anyone except my best friend today. But I MADE her stop painting her house and have a nice lunch and rest. SO maybe that counts? She lives alone, too.

  2. I like your instructions for our secret mission very much:)

    I also like this sentence" I looked up, and saw his eyes stealth-slide from me back to his work.
    If I read this in a book and then discussed the book at book club, I'd be point out the awesome-ness of it!

  3. I think you're both naturals at appreciating people!


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