When strolling on the beach, it’s not uncommon to greet someone with a smile and be greeted in return with a smile. A word describing this kind of interaction is reciprocity.
Last week, I needed to focus and get some work done efficiently. Sometimes I get a bit of cabin fever because my office is in my home. I love working from home but, by the afternoon, I sometimes need to relocate to get those last few hours of work completed.
So I took my computer to a great local restaurant, Rimel’s Bar and Grill DelMar, which is walking distance from my home. I ordered a glass of wine paired with delicious calamari and ahi poke. I sat in the corner of their bar area and set up camp: laptop, notebook, pencil and… eraser (have to write in pencil. KT does a loooot of erasing…).
It was my first time visiting this restaurant. I’d been wanting to check it out. (I’ve only lived in the area for 6 months)
As I looked around, I see that I’m the only one working. Every guest was socializing and enjoying vibrant conversations. Great vibe. I was happy I chose this place.
In the mix of head down and fingers on the keyboard, I’d glance up on occasion to enjoy some people watching.
The server, at first, didn’t know what to think of me. She was polite and not accustomed to having someone with their laptop working in this fabulous dining facility.
I smiled. She half-way smiled. I asked her a few questions about her menu. She answered politely.
As the time went by, she’d check on me, ask me how the food was or if I needed anything else. Each time I warmly smiled, engaged her with friendly light-heartedness, and let her know I was appreciative of her service.
By the time I paid my bill, she had warmed up to me. Her smile matched mine. Her friendliness matched mine. Her comfortableness matched mine.
Reciprocity is a wonderful gift we can freely share with every human on this planet. It supersedes all language barriers, all cultures, all lifestyles; igniting environments of human-kindness.
What is your favorite way of expressing reciprocity? We will each have our own unique expression. Live yours every day.
– Karen Thrall
*also published on www.karenthrall.com