Any day with homemade cookies is a good day. Last week a troop of freshmen appeared in our office bearing plates laden with chocolate chocolate chip cookies. Clearly, these freshmen have good taste.
We didn’t know what to make of them at first. I work in an administrative office at a university, and we generally only see students when they are lost or in serious trouble. These young men and women had baked cookies for everyone in the building, all four floors, to show their appreciation “for everything you do for us.” I’m sure most of them have no idea what we do.
Many of us, myself included, tend to dismiss the contribution of those whose jobs we don’t understand. These students took the opposite approach, assuming we were doing something worthwhile on their behalf, a generosity that meets or exceeds that of baking dozens of cookies for people you don’t know.
I think the world would benefit from more random acts of appreciation. They should probably be done regularly, like flossing. They could be simple, like thanking the person who checks my groceries with more than a mumble instead of interacting solely with the credit card machine.
One blogger has taken it a step further in her Year of Kindness campaign. She does things like buy a complete stranger a cup of coffee because he looks sad or give away dozens of roses to whoever will take them. I’m probably not that advanced yet, but I could start by recognizing those people who help me regularly rather than taking them for granted.
When the cookie bearers stepped off the elevator, the atmosphere on our floor suddenly became Disney-worthy — sun shining, birds singing. I found myself asking everyone, “Did the students come to your office?” That kind of good cheer is worth spreading.