I walked in to the bank to cash a check.
“Hey Dan! You ready?’
I looked up and saw on of my regular tellers, Wells.
“Wells, how’s it goin?”
“Been ok…been ok. You?”
“I’m good…just another friday. You been busy?”
Wells looked to the side and was silent for a few seconds.
“Yes…I am leaving. I am moving.”
“Oh, really? Where?”
Wells stopped again. Her eyes started to glimmer.
“Cayman…Cayman Islands…leaving the country.”
The glimmer in her eyes was not caused by happiness. I pretended not to notice.
“Wow…that’s a big change. You all packed? Ready to go? That’s a whole new way of life.”
She looked down and looked back up…and that’s where I noticed her hurt eyes.
“There’s just nothing for me here….nothing.”
I looked behind me to see if a line was forming behind me. I paused and just listened to Wells. I did not know much about her. She was not young. Her face was weathered showing that she had been through tough times in her life.
“I…don’t want to be here anymore. Not just at this place…just HERE. Away…from anything. I just can’t be here. I don’t belong….HERE.”
A single tear dropped down her left eye.
We take normal interactions for granted. The normal “hi…hey, how’s it goin?”….but sometimes, someone reaches out for an ear to listen. Someone wants to be heard. And it was my ear to be reached today.
I broke the silence.
“This is great news Wells…this is a brand new start. A NEW life. It will probably be scary at first. But, don’t discount yourself. Something in you is telling you what you need to do…Do it. That first breath of air in your new country will be healing. Imagine that. That’s awesome, Wells. You gonna do great things out there.”
She looked to the side again.
She smiled and her face softened. A line started to form behind me. I looked back.
“Whoa, well, you are popular…everyone is here to see you. Good luck, Wells. You’re awesome…”
I walked away and looked for another bank worker. I spotted an older man who worked there.
“Hey, how’s it goin’ sir. Are you a supervisor here?”
“That teller over there…Wells…she is awesome. She’s friendly…knowledgeable….great customer service is hard to find nowadays.”
I walked away.
Kind words go a long way. And sometimes, a few kind words can heal and build someone up. And there are opportunities we get during our normal day that appear for us to build another person up. Do we take it? Or do we ignore it? It might come from a loved one…or a random stranger. And one day…it might be us that needs an ear and the kinds words.