Monday, November 12, 2012

Be the hero!

There's this song by Smash Mouth called Everyday Superhero.  You may have heard the chorus.
          I'm just your average, ordinary, everyday superhero
          Trying to save the world, but never really sure
          I'm just your average, ordinary, everyday superhero
          Nothing more than that
          That's all I really am

I first heard it in the closing credits of Vin Diesel's The Pacifier.  I've been hooked ever since.  It took me awhile to get the words of that first line straight.  lol.  But it's a fun song when I need a little musical help to clean the house.

That chorus is one of my theme songs now.  Because, really, as much as I don't want to think of myself as average or ordinary, I don't have any superpowers.  So I can't stop natural disasters or defeat super villains. I can't leap buildings or make people tell the truth.

But I can make my grandma's day just by calling.  And I can make my niece's birthday awesome because I knew exactly what to get her.  I can make a patient's life a bit easier by getting them in to see the doctor sooner than they thought possible.  And I can make someone's day just by smiling.

There are lots of impossible things that I won't ever be able to do.  But making someone's day is pretty close to being a superhero.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Can you hear me?

It's one thing to be hard of hearing.  It's another to not listen.

Not listening to others seems to be so prevalent in a self-focused society.

I'll admit that I'm guilty of it.  Intentionally and not.  It depends.

Honestly, I think there are times when it's healthy to tune out certain people.  But when you're coming to somebody expecting their help, that is not the time to tune them out.  That's the time to listen.

Being in the customer service field, people come in all the time expecting me to know who they are, what they need, and give it to them NOW!  Many seem upset when I ask their name, and other pertinent information so I can get them what they need.  Many answer with a yes or no without even knowing what question I asked, whether the answer actually fits the question or not.

Stopping a minute to listen and to give the proper responses would save time and frustration.

But those spare minutes could be used in much better ways, we think.  There's updating our Twitter or Facebook feeds.  Checking in at the coffee shop or the doctor's office.  Commenting on our best friend's sister's photo of her new grandson in a pumpkin costume.  Looking up a recipe that we had saved in Pinterest somewhere and getting distracted by the new Star Wars/Disney posts.

Those spare minutes, though, would be better used to connect with others, even if it's the barista with the multitude of piercings or the mechanic with the grease under his fingernails.  When you do this, you become more than just a face, a number. You make a connection, no matter how brief.

And connections are important, especially face-to-face.  They tie us together.

Being tied together helps us relate to each other.  We form networks.  We meet people like ourselves and people very much unlike ourselves. We become better for it.  And there are all kinds of people we wouldn't have known existed unless we had taken a minute to listen, to connect.

So take some extra time.  Listen.  Connect.  Who knows?  You may end up with a new friend or two.