Show Appreciation During Customer Service Week - and Every Day of Every Week

by Diane Berenbaum

To appreciate means to recognize the good in the world around us. Looking for, seeing and appreciating the goodness in this world does not come naturally to all. If we model appreciation in the way we respond to the world, then perhaps others will open their eyes and look for the blessings that fill our lives everyday.

A friend of mine, Elena Schwartz, shared the following poem with me. I was touched by its words and reminded to appreciate every moment in life (even in the most difficult times). Please feel free to share it with those you work with, and those you love.

The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, "Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn - not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise

"It sure smells pretty and it's beautiful too.
That's why I picked it; it's for you."
The weed before me was dying and almost dead
Not vibrant of colors; orange, yellow or red.

But I knew I must take it or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower and replied, "Just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand
He held it mid-air, without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed for the very first time -
That weed-toting boy could not see; he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver, tears shone in the sun,
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
"You're welcome," he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he'd had on my day.

I sat there and wondered how he managed to see,
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he'd been blessed with true sight.

Through the eyes of a blind child, as last I could see,
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.

And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life,
And appreciate every second that's mine.

Then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy
Another weed in hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.

Cheryl Costello-Forshey Copyright 1997


Diane Berenbaum is a long-time contributor and former editor of the MAGIC Service Newsletter. She has more than twenty-five years of experience as a consultant, coach, and facilitator. Diane is the co-author of How to Talk to Customers: Create a Great Impression Every Time with MAGIC® .
Before and After
Before and After
Just one "tragic" contact can influence your customers' perception of your company (and their buying decisions). Listen to the difference MAGIC® can make.