We meet them wherever we are and whatever we are doing, from going to the store and exchanging cash with the clerk to that waitress who spent 5 minutes to make our latte exactly the way we want it; the newspaper carrier who dutifully places our morning chronicle by the our door every morning, or even that someone who thought to hold the door for us.
We meet people every day who do favors for us, many of which go unnoticed and aren't ‘paid forward.' Little things, big things, and seemingly quaint acts of kindness are noticed and returned are as much as our observing of a solitary flower in an open field. Look at Jesus’ life. His actions and reactions spoke volumes at how we should behave as Catholics.
I think it’s important one should at least work in the service industry at least once or twice in their life because by doing so, their perceptions regarding people, human nature, charity, etc…- if the experience is taken in the right manner- will definitely change versus those who have never worked, or ever understood that field.
These perceptions I speak of- are in a sense- related to the Christian world view of Charity. It has been preached, taught, and even literature speaks of the need to be charitable, including to those we don’t know. Customer Service, public service, or military service happens to embody that ideal perfectly in their professional developments.
A smile is like a bright ray in the storm. A simple free gift of love and kindness, but seldom given freely. Be genuine. Let your smiles irradiate those around you. It’s hard to stay grumpy when you force a smile.
“Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
God gave us one mouth and 2 ears for a reason. No greater respect and charity is given than to listen, not to reply, but to understand.
Tranquility, serenity, or pax, is much needed in our world and our associations with others. It is the result of simplicity, contentment, gratitude, and self-possession. One cannot have serenity if they are always anxious and letting situations, people and other aspects get the better of them. ‘Roll with punches’ and let it ‘slide off your back’. Our inward peace of spirit is manifested on the outside and can be visible to all- either for the betterment or detriment of our neighbor. Never forget that.
“Never be in a hurry. Do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” –St. Francis De Sales
Receive and Give
Receive everyone we meet with genuine sincerity, attentiveness, and kindness regardless of who they are, their background, beliefs, and etc.… I think Jesus would’ve done the same.
With advancement in technology- it’s terribly hard I know- when associating in the presence of others give them your wholehearted consideration and attention without the self-directed distraction of our devices. Just as the Blessed Virgin lovingly looked on and never faltered in her attentiveness to her Son- it’s the least we can do in today’s age. Pay it forward.
This not a conclusive list of how to be charitable, just a few ideas. Call it professional courtesy.