education, parenthood, parenting, parenting tips

Greeting the Faces in the Background

My children take the bus to and from school each day. So today, when I had to bring one of them to school, I was extremely touched by the smallest action.

As my 8th grader and I walked through the gate, my son greeted the guard by name. “Good morning Isaac,” he said.

“Wow,” I said to my son. “That was really nice of you.”

“What?” he said, having no idea what I thought was such a big deal.

I explained to him that he had not only greeted the guard (a nice act), but that he had used the guard’s name (a really nice, personal act).

“Oh, yeah, I say hi to him all the time. It’s not like it’s a big deal, mom.”

His reaction was as touching to me as were his actions.

I think that most of us have faces in the background around us; those that work quietly to make our lives run more smoothly and to make our jobs easier. But do we notice these faces? Do we acknowledge what they do, smile at them and interact with them by name?

If you work in an office building, you might see the same cleaners every single day. But do you know their names? If you work in a school, there might be a secretary or a janitor who comes every day. Do you know their names? And do you greet them by name each time that you see them?

I was touched both by how my son greeted the guard and by how inconsequential he felt the interaction was. It showed me that he always greets him, and other workers, in this way and that he feels that it’s the normal course of action.

As it should be.

Lesson learned from my 13 year old today.

And for a good cry, enjoy this video that shows a school that clearly gives out the same message.


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