Every night, when I tuck my older daughter into bed, I lie down next to her for ten or fifteen minutes. Every once in a while, she asks me to “tell a happy story,” and the following story is one of her favorites. I’ve repeated it to her many times.
I got the story from an acquaintance who lives in Geneva, who emailed me this account:
“I went into Harrods in London (huge department store I am sure you have heard of!) to buy some Minton China plates for a wedding anniversary which was to be a group gift from friends to other friends in Geneva. Having only 30 minutes between meetings, I whizzed there in a taxi from the office and battled through the milling people on the 2nd day of the sales on the ground floor up to the 5th to the china department. There was a chap standing there who was obviously a sales person who I rushed up to and asked if he had this particular china? in stock? would it take long to wrap? etc., He was amazing. He got the plates in seconds, wrapped them up, asked me if I wanted a store card to which I replied no, because I lived in Switzerland, to which he replied asking if, as I lived abroad would I like a tax rebate form, showed me what to do and produced a map of the store of where I should go for the formalities. Amazing, so I thanked him and said what wonderful service he had given me and did he give this to everyone? With that a tall man in a grey suit approached me offering his hand to shake mine saying, “Can I introduce myself, I am the Chief Executive of Harrods and what an interesting conversation I have just heard”…. He had been wandering through the store (as you should do as a hands-on CEO!) and had overheard me thanking this salesman – whose face, I can hardly describe, was – frozen in a mixture of delight awe and astonishment! Can you imagine the salesman going home to his family and friends recounting, “the day the CEO spoke to him after overhearing him being praised by a customer”……….
For me, one of the most satisfying basic story lines is “Virtue rewarded.” I love all stories in which virtue is recognized and rewarded. To have been an instrument to see virtue rewarded…thrilling to contemplate. Apparently my daughter feels the same way!
* 2010 Happiness Challenge: For those of you following the 2010 Happiness Project Challenge, to make 2010 a happier year, this month’s focus is Work. Last week’s resolution was to Enjoy the fun of failure. Did you try to follow that resolution? Did it help to boost your happiness? This week’s resolution is to Ask for help.
If you want to read more about this resolution, check out…
Ask for help.
A key to happiness: Ask for help. Why? Because other people can help you solve your problems.
If you’re new, here’s information on the 2010 Happiness Challenge (or watch the intro video). It’s never too late to start! You’re not behind, jump in right now, sign up here. For more ideas, check out the Happiness Project site on Woman’s Day.
* If you’ve never checked it out, Chris Guillebeau’s site, The Art of Non-Conformity, has a huge amount of great material. When I was at SXSW, it occurred to me that every time I’ve met for the first time a blogger whose blog I read, the blogger has always matched the blog. I met Chris for the first time, and his blog perfectly reflects him.
* On Twitter? Follow me @gretchenrubin.