Why is it that we hear criticism so much louder and so much more frequent than praise?
Chris and I celebrated some birthdays with neighbours at a restaurant a few nights ago. We were seated at a table in such a way that I could see what was going on behind the scenes with the food preparation. I watched a man work hard for a solid 2.5 hours, responding to all the demands of the cook and the servers. I did not see him complain once. No rolled eyes. No arguing. Just a strong work ethnic and great humility. He smiled. He laughed. He even sang along with the lyrics of the music being pumped into the restaurant.
I was fascinated.
I just don’t see this very often in any workplace.
After dinner, I walked up to the man and thanked him. I told him how wonderful it was that he liked his job and did it with such a standard of excellence. You should have seen his face: he was overwhelmed with such a simple, heart felt compliment and he thanked me profusely. He gestured that his boss was sitting at a table over to the right and asked me if I would put in a good word about him. I walked over to his boss and as I approached him, he looked very defensive. He was definitely on guard. I explaine that I had just finished my meal but that I was particularly impressed with the hard work of both this particular male employee as well as our waiter. The boss signed with relief and answered, “Well, thank you so much. To be honest, when I see a customer approach me, I prepare myself for the negative. It’s so refreshing to see someone go out of her way to compliment our service. He was super appreciative and asked me if I would take the time to fill out an online survey about my dining experience at the restaurant and he gave me the names of both people I had encouraged.
It took me a couple of days but I did make time to complete the survey because I believe this world needs “go-out-of-our-way” encouragement. We need to train ourselves to see the right and the good rather then quickly focusing on how people screw up. We need to be gentler with humankind – more loving and more sensitive.
Life tears us down. We don’t need to do it to each other.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5.11