Flourishing Culture

Simple Acts of Kindness and Caring

June 15, 2018

There’s a crossing guard who monitors the corner of a busy street in my neighborhood. I encountered her about four months ago while taking a new route. The first time I saw her she was smiling and waving. Her demeanor was so warm, I thought she was acknowledging someone she knew. The next week, I was stopped by the red light on her corner. Again, she was smiling and waving. I surveyed the area. There were no pedestrians approaching and none of my fellow drivers were waving back. It made me wonder, what’s going on with her? Over the past few months, I have seen her regularly. She continues to smile and wave and now I wave back. It dawned on me. She is using her position on this corner to make a difference – to affect the lives of busy people — to remind us to pause and smile. I don’t know how many people wave back. My sense is she is not keeping score. Rather, she is reaching out because it gives her purpose. As we consider how to have more purpose in the workplace, I invite you to remember this crossing guard.  To me, she teaches us an important lesson: purpose starts with simple acts of kindness and caring for the people with whom we work and interact.  

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