A Name Tag for Kindness

The flight left on time, winging its way to Portland for a brief  touchdown and then off to Juneau for our 30th wedding anniversary.  Glacier Bay. We will pick up a 24-passenger boat.  A naturalist. One  week. Kayaking. Hiking. AND... NO computer or email . YAHHOOO! If you travel at all, you know that flying has its own built in  stresses that can set the tone for any trip.  Thankfully, we were on  Alaska Airlines with Beth. Beth greeted every passenger with a smile and helped folks get their  luggage stored. (On today’s flights-this is NOT an easy task). She  paused to talk and beamed when I told her the reason for the flight  AND that we’d have a special, short visit with our GRANDdaughters. We  told her we always brought them the little snack mix packet they handed out aboard. In a heartbeat she was back, dumping 10 little snack packs on the lap.  “Here, she said.” “Take these to the children.” It was then that I looked closer at her official name tag, BETH.  But what  caught my eye was the one underneath it.  Same official bronze tag.  Only this one said: “committed to kindness.” I raised my eyebrow and pointed to the words. “My manager watched me work and figured that this was what I was all about so she made me this name tag.” Beth smiled. “It so touched me. I realize I cannot have a bad day when I look down and see the tag.  Just  can’t be wearing it unless I practice it. So—I buck up and forge ahead into whatever kind of day we are having.”What a concept. When Beth’s manager called out this virtue to her, she  created a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Made me wonder if all of us were given little name tags that said “committed to kindness”. If even a small percentage of us acted on that notion, our work, our families and our community might be different. I’ll see if I can practice this in Alaska. On the ship. On the plane.  And hopefully, when we circle back to the “real” world of work. Not a peep from me until then.

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