On Friday I picked my mom up from her office. On our way out my mom stopped to say hi to one of the janitors who works in her building. Her name was Kim. My mom is the kind of person who buys presents for all the secretaries for Christmas and who knows even the janitors by name. My mom stopped to talk to Kim and called me over to introduce us. Kim smiled and said I looked just like my mom, to which I replied, "You're not the first person to say it!" She smiled again and said she looked just like her mom too. I told her it couldn't be a bad thing then.
Monday morning at about 4am in San Marcos, Kim drove her car onto the railroad tracks, put it in park, and waited for an oncoming train. She died on impact.
My mom called me this afternoon to tell me about Kim. She remarked that she wished she had done more, said more, reached out more, that maybe she could have helped her. I don't think its my mom who needs to reach out more, I think it that more people need to reach out like my mom does. Let the people in the entry-level jobs know that you appreciate them. Talk to the janitors, introduce people to them, treat them like human beings too. It makes a difference in their day, their lives, and it makes a difference in yours too. So open up, take a look around, and talk to someone you usually just pass by. That is your assignment for the day.