Some mornings I take the dogs for coffee and biscuits to Dunkin’ Donuts. The (mostly) women behind the drive-through window are cordial and fun at 6:30 in the morning. They smile, talk to the dogs, are very polite, and are clearly appreciative of the small tip that the change represents. Many of them have their hair and makeup attractively done, which means their day must have started around 5 or so.
I’m guessing they work for minimum wage or close to it.
A half-mile away, some mornings I take the dogs to a coffee shop on Main Street, where the owner is behind the counter. It’s quite a nice shop, with a wide variety of hot and cold offerings. But we call him “Gloomy Gus.” He’s always complaining. He’s actually a nice man, likes dogs, and works hard. But he’s almost fatally pessimistic. It’s never a great day, it would seem, for his business.
I’m guessing he makes a very nice income.
My message to you is that life is about mindset. The young crowd working in Dunkin’ is learning responsibility, customer service, and how to make the best of things. (You try going to work in a snowstorm, in January, in the northeast, in the dark, at 6 am. It’s not pretty.) The way you think about yourself, your job, and your responsibilities, informs your behavior and determines your success and happiness.
Is life for you, each morning, a long, slow crawl through enemy territory, or a thoughtful walk in what light we have (and can create)? Be aware: That choice is solely yours.
And that is my Christmas present to you.
© Alan Weiss 2015