Ladies and Gentlemen. Everyday miracles happen. Sometimes we see them and most of the time we don’t. In our midst. In our country; a miracle happened in 2011 and it was in view for all of us to see. Her name is Gabrielle Giffords. A U.S. Congresswoman from the state of Arizona.

You remember her story back in January of 2011, while outside a grocery store, preparing to speak to her constituents, she was shot by a lone gun man with some sort of twisted agenda. She was waiting to do a presentation to her and happened to invite a young neighbor girl along that showed some interest in politics. Before she could even get started; tragedy struck.

I don’t want to spend much time on what happened. That atrocity isn’t the miracle. The miracle is that she is still here. Not only is she still here she is living and striving and the personification of a miracle walking, talking and breathing.

She has released a book: Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope
She recently began a tour with the book and spoke to Diane Sawyer of ABC news. One of the adjectives used to describe her was having a never quit attitude. I love it. It is everything that I believe in and promote here through words, video and audio sources.

The piece done by Diane Sawyer is a true testament and shows her courage, grit and tenacity. She has come so far in just a short period of time. Her husband, Mark Kelly began recording her rehabilitation early on and said he did so because he knew she would want to know how it happened. Sadly there were six other people that died during that tragedy, including Christina Taylor-Green, who I spoke about earlier. Her bold endeavor to get back to good health is a true honor to the six that were lost on that day. She is a true inspiration.

One day I would love to interview her for this Blog, so I’m throwing that one to the universe.

Always Remember…You don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

Today after getting off of work, I went by the Harbor Freight Tools store to get a couple tools that I needed to work on the pickup truck. No big deal just a few deep sockets, that I didn’t have. Well after picking up the items and looking around a bit more, I made my way to the front registers. There were two open, one by a lady that seemed like she didn’t want to be there. She was grumbling and complaining. The other was by a lady that at least appeared pleasant. You could even here a smile in here voice. I chose her line.

As I laid my items on the counter, she begins to ring them up. While she is doing that, I tell her that I’m going to take the little hand cart that I used while shopping and put it back by the front door. She immediately turns around and watches and says that I’m the only person she has seen put the carrier back. Now the counters are real small in this type of store so I ask her where do people usually leave them. She says they leave them right on the counter and she has to put them away. She said she realizes it is part of her job, but it is a hassle. She even told me about a customer, who came to her line, had a bunch of items she rang up and bagged, then tried to use a coupon that expired a day before. Now if you know Harbor Freight and their sales, you know that everything in these stores is on sale most of the time. If the coupon is expired, give it a few days, or weeks and it will be on sale again. Or just go to the store while the coupon is still GOOD.

She said this customer, just left everything on the counter and was mad at her and stormed out of the store, leaving all of their sacks. She commented that she often gets customers like that and sometimes she gets ones like me that make the process easier. I told her I appreciated the compliment, but I have worked at retail jobs and have wished the customers would be more courteous. I know the saying about the customer is always right, but what the heck, I’m not in retail anymore so I don’t have to follow the party line. Whatever happened to genuine courtesy from one to another. Just because someone is working at a business, doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated badly. They are human, just as I and deserve my respect as long as I receive theirs.

As I said this made me think that we need to treat each other better. Now I’m not speaking about going around with a perpetual stupid looking smile on your face and getting used and screwed by everyone around. I’m speaking of kindness. Kindness as a customer, kindness as a worker, kindness, as a citizen, kindness as a…human. I’m confident that if you give it and make yourself available to receive it, it will return to you in more ways than one. Be good to each other.

Always remember…you don’t have permission to Quit.

Jeffrey Washington

Today I had occasion to be reminded of the general goodness in people.

For a few weeks I’ve been looking online for a couple parts that I needed to replace on our furnace. Now this isn’t a really new furnace so finding replacement parts has been a challenge.

The other day while I was looking online once again, I came across a company in Owosso, MI, about 30 minutes from my home that showed on their website that they had both of the items I was looking for. Just about every other site had one or the other and wanted $10-$15 shipping each. I called this place today, to check and see if the items were in stock, which they thankfully were. I even decided to take a 1/2 hour off from work so that I could get their well before they closed.

Well I got their and they did have my parts. I took the old items in the store so that we could visually compare them as well. I’m riding home, really pleased that I found the parts. All is well until———————–(insert record scratch). Once I get home I’m unloading the car and no motor. I’ve got the other part, but NO motor. WTF. I call the company and ask the guy that answers the phone if I left the box with the motor on the counter. After looking around he tells me that I in fact did. I figure I’ll take another road trip tomorrow, but he offers another suggestion. He says he is leaving work and can meet me at a bank parking lot about 5 miles from my home as opposed to the 70 miles round trip to the store. He says it would be no trouble and is right near his house. We work out the details and I head to the bank. Right about the time he says he should be there, he pulls up. He hands me the motor and I offer to give him a $5 spot for his troubles. He refuses vehemently so I figure I toss the bill in his lap and walk away smiling and thanking him. He grabs the money and insists that it wasn’t any trouble, especially since he had to stop by the ATM anyway. All I can say is “WOW”.

Obviously that guy didn’t have to go to so much trouble. He could have just told me it would be there waiting for me the next day. As I said earlier, this reminds me of the general goodness in people. Too many times in the world, people only focus on the bad that people do. Sometimes it is good to focus on the good. I didn’t get his name; but I am truly grateful for his kindness and generosity.

It’s always good to be reminded of “The general and genuine goodness in people.”

Take care of each other,

Jeffrey Washington

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