Tuesday, 14 April 2015

"Food" for Thought

You are a statistic.
I am a machine.
Maybe I should stop seeing you as a pie graph.
Maybe you should stop seeing me as an automaton.
* * *
Nearly 10 months ago, I got my first job. The food service industry has been quite the adventure, and though it hasn't always been easy, I've enjoyed getting to know my coworkers (as well as my regular customers!) and earning a bit of money, too. Though every job has its positives and negatives, one of the factors I've found most draining about my job is spending hours interacting with customers... yet not interacting with people.
* * *
When you step up to order a combo meal at a fast food restaurant, or walk up to a register to check out an article of clothing at a department store, it's somewhat natural to greet the cashier and possibly mumble a, "How are you?" But how many times do you actually listen to their reply? If they actually said something other than the expected, "good" or "fine", would you even notice? In fact, would you even care? 
* * *
Now it's my turn. 
There's a long line, and I'm only halfway through the lunch rush. Maybe I can tell that you're tired or stressed. Maybe I can tell that you've had a bad day. I attempt to smile, but after I've finished serving you, will I give you another thought?
* * *
Humans by nature are sinful, selfish people. And in America we're constantly encouraged to think about how we need more things, how we can make more money to buy said things, how we can get the most out of our money, what's in it for us, etc. Watch a few advertising commercials and you'll know what I mean. 
Even as Christians, it's easy to slip into the habits of thinking only for ourselves. But - no surprise here - the two greatest commandments have nothing to do with ourselves. 
Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." [Matthew 22:37-40]
Love for God and love for others can cause us to do big things for God. But maybe sometimes we get so caught trying to do big things for God that we forget that small things matter, too. 
Though I basically detest The Hobbit trilogy, there are a few lines from the movie that are decent. As I was writing this, a quote came to mind... 
"Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay - small acts of kindness and love." [The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2013]
I'm not saying that smiling at a cashier will change the world. (It probably won't.) But it might brighten someone's day, just a little.
Maybe I should stop seeing you as a statistic. And if I do, maybe you won't think of me as a machine. If I treat you as a person - made in the image of God, loved by God, valued by God - I won't think of you as a number anymore. And if you see me as a person - made in the image of God, loved by God, valued by God - then you will think of me as I really am. 
Maybe there needs to be a little more kindness and a little more thought.
On both sides of the counter.
 photo kara.signature_zpsludd1qzl.png


  1. I so agree on this, Kara, a smile can brighten anyone's day! :) And it's not always easy to be the one smiling if you're having a rough day... but sometimes being reminded that it makes a difference makes all the difference in your own mood too.

    I love reading your posts, they're always really inspiring to me! <3 :) I miss you and hope we can hang out soon!!


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