Pay Attention, Be Present


I speak a lot about my journey. I speak of being thankful and living each day to be better. When we are walking through life with our eyes wide open, the movie of life is filled with so much “stuff.” 
I am working a contract right now, I get up very early, I screen employees getting back to work. Employees that are trying to feed their family, trying to get back to some kind of normalcy. They all come in one door and walk to my table, I take their temperature, they grab a sticker to wear to show they have been screened and go on their way to start the rest of their day.  


When I first started this position back in May, I was thankful for the extra work. I was thankful that I could help these  employees come to work and maybe feel just a little better about coming back in the midst of this pandemic . At first some seemed less than thrilled, others you could see relief and how thankful they were. Some even voiced how grateful they were. Masks are required and hand sanitizer bottles are out everywhere. It was noticeable on many of the faces that passed me by, uncertainty was present. 
Throughout my lessons and mistakes in life I have learned  how important it is to treat everyone you come across with respect, how important it is to acknowledge every person who’s path you cross throughout your day. I acknowledge each and every person I connect eyes with, each person who passes me on the street, in the store, wherever I may be. My purpose for this is just to share a smile and genuinely let that person know I hope they have a wonderful day. I hope that my practicing this ever so important small gesture gives the person on the other side of my smile and Good morning greeting a lasting impression and that they know I’m a human who genuinely cares. We are all living in a crazy world right now.  There is so much darkness, sadness, fear, anger and uncertainty. I know it’s just a smile and a good morning but you just never know how needed for some that tiny little gesture might be. 
When I first started I’d say I had all together 75 employees I screened, today its approaching near 200. When I first started I said 75 good mornings with a smile,  it took a good solid month before I received half as many good mornings as I had given out. Now today, I am not always the one who gets to say Good morning first, finally I can confidently say just about every single person greets me with a smile and says good morning, some even followed by  a how are you?  On one occasion an employee even comment about my consistent smile and positive attitude and how she loved it


There are many who I especially look forward to coming through my line. They come through the door with a big ole smile, some with a little dance, some with a little song. It makes whatever I’m facing outside of that small amount of time survivable. Some days the employees may not be the most cheerful or feel less social but I still get my good morning and a smile. 


This morning I experienced a defining moment. One man came through my line and gave me his usual good morning  along with a smile but as I asked him ” How are you today?” He replied with the best answer ever. He was the only employee that’s ever answered me with  ” I’m blessed”  Boy……I tell ya. That man right there, he knows what’s going on.  We are blessed my friends. We are blessed that we woke up another day, we are blessed we have a job to go to whether it’s always pleasant or not, we are blessed to have it. With all I’ve been through this week, losing a very dear to my heart person. This man’s response will remind me to always remember I am blessed. This man’s  answer changed my day.  I’m thankful that he came through my line this morning. God was speaking, I heard him loud and clear. 

Shanna Kayla Ellis

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