"I remember you. You're so nice," beamed the Apple store tech, all friendly and eager. I may have thought he said that to everyone, had he not asked about the yoga studio and retreat center. Several minutes later he described me to the co-worker he was passing me off to, "She's really nice." Two hours later, when I came to pick up my serviced phone a completely different worker remarked to another, 'She is really nice," with what I heard as an unspoken message to treat me well. At this point, I had to ask, "Is this something you are being trained to say?" It was obvious by their reaction that no, it was not.
"It must be that you have a lot of 'not so nice' people and interactions, for me to stand out like this?" Their reaction to this was so strong, it was almost comical, if it weren't so sad.
Think about the people that are going to shop in the Apple store.
Sure, maybe their gadgets are causing them some frustration. Sure, maybe there is a wait. Sure, maybe they had trouble finding parking, their work or kids or life is overwhelming them. BUT, come on!!
We are in the Apple store, which means that beyond food and water and shelter and transportation and clothing and education, we are able to afford 'more'. And some of us have way, way, way 'more' of the luxuries of life- everything which beyond that which is necessary for survival. Granted, many of us would say our phones and computers are necessary for survival to our jobs, however having that type of job is in and of itself a privilege.
Nearly 1/2 of the world's population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty — less than $1.25 a day. 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.
The new iPhone is $1000. That means that 1/2 the population of the entire world would need to work 400 days straight and save 100% of what they earn to buy one. Really think about that. Think about the luxuries and even excesses that most of us who are able to walk into an Apple Store enjoy on a daily basis.
We are all so extremely privileged. Why can't we all just be nice?
What is it that causes people to rush past the most basic decency of a smile or holding the door or giving a compliment, or if not an extra effort like these, at the very least being civil to the people in stores and restaurants and autoshops and grocery store, etc. all the people working in retail and customer service and the like, that there is in an interaction with, as they are trying to help?
At the base of it, when there is a lack of kindness and decency, it is because there is a lack of appreciation for just how privileged we are. There is a lack of appreciation and with it a hollowness and callousness, just as appreciation causes a fullness and sweetness.
Slow down. Smile. Say thank you. Look him and her in the eye and say a most sincere thanks to that person who helps you with the car you are so blessed to own, those groceries you are so blessed to buy, that
For with this sincere thanks your world becomes nice; our world becomes nice.