Reward the Special

Photo by Larisa Birta

Photo by Larisa Birta

"Every time I see you pumping gas you're smiling! Why is that?" asks the elderly gentleman coming out from behind the register at the gas station down the street from where I live. "Why do you smile so much?"

The answer is obvious. "It's the music!" I look up toward the dreamy classical music pumping from the speakers, and take a deep breath to appreciate the roses scattered in pots around the station.

A warm grin forms on his face. "Thank you. Thank you for noticing."

I quickly learn he's the owner and has turned down all the traditional paid advertising music to create a special experience. "Why shouldn't pumping gas be pleasurable?" he says. "Or have beauty? My wife gets so much joy planting these roses for customers." Seems logical to me.

I can tell he's of Middle Eastern descent so I mention my father is from Pakistan. We connect right away, chatting about the world. When the clicking sound tells me that my tank is full, I refocus to see my two children through the car window with puzzled gazes, obviously wondering how their mother has turned from a stressed mama to a happy human again.

Finally we say goodbye, "Thank you for enjoying the music with me."  he remarks. When I get back into my mini cooper, my daughter asks who that was. "A very nice man doing something special."  

Filling my tank is now my classical music retreat. If he's there, he comes out to chat, often offering me lollipops to give the kids (yes, I now have two backseat drivers reminding me when my tank is low). I plan to ask if he'll be adding a charging station soon so when I trade in my car for an electric vehicle I can still come by to get my car battery - and my personal one - recharged.

The point is this. We have the power to reward what we want in this world. Our time, money and compassion is how we do it. We can give it to things that align with our values or those that don't.

Reward the special when you see it. And always, yes always, enjoy the music.

So how do you reward the special in your life? Read this and you'll see. It all starts with your values...