by: Rebecca Taylor

I often find myself commenting on how small the world is. Usually, this comment comes when someone comments on family/friend connections. For example, you might meet someone whose mother was your great aunt’s bridesmaid and upon seeing your name or asking about your parents, it leads you to this connection. Connections run deep.

This same principle may be stated in the world when it comes to people feeling their worth. I believe that each person is important regardless of what job they do. Take this scenario for example – it is Monday morning, you wake up late to realize that you are out of coffee, and you know that you cannot make it through the day without your caffeine fix. You get in your car and go to the closest drive through where you order your preferred blend. You have now dealt with your first person of the day, the employee at your coffee shop. He or she could be anyone – a student, a mother or a previously employed factory worker who took the job to pay the bills. The background of this person doesn’t matter to you; you’re just happy that you now have your coffee and can get to work.  As you sip your coffee at a red light, you realize that the gas light on your car is on. You have to remember to fill the car on your way home tonight. Thank goodness for the station attendant around the corner from your job, because you hate having to pump it yourself. This is another person with what is considered a minimum wage job helping you out in a day.

You arrive at the four star hotel where you are fortunate enough to work in customer service. As you enter the building you are greeted by people leaving – they are the nightshift. These hotel employees keep the enterprise running while you are home asleep. They do a variety of tasks which include checking in or out clients, handling baggage and providing security. Without them, your job could be a lot harder. You look at your watch and head for the elevator, you have a meeting to attend, and it is on the eighth floor. The elevator operator asks you where you would like to go. He ensures a smooth traffic flow throughout the day. Due to your location near a busy city airport, the hotel is always bustling with people.  At your meeting, you listen to several points of view from the different departments including housekeeping, laundry and food services. What each person has to say is important because if there is a problem or concern in any of these areas, it could mean that guests are less satisfied. It is the cleanliness of the rooms and the quality of the food in addition to the friendly service which gives the hotel its good reviews and the hotel relies on these and returning guests.

Your meeting finally ends and you return to your office your mind swirling as you think about what your co-workers had to say. You turn on your computer and get to work. You are interrupted several times by the ringing of the telephone – the people on the other end are from all walks of life – clients with comments on customer service, salespeople confirming your orders of complementary products like pens and candy and a cake decorator who wants to finalize details for a retirement party for a long-time hotel employee. Eventually, the clerk from the mailroom comes in with a stack of correspondence for you. She also checks to make sure you have enough office stationary to complete your notes and letters.

By the end of your day, you’ve talked to so many people, all who have made some sort of impact on your day. Some of the encounters might seem insignificant but if you put everything in perspective, you realize that everyone you meet plays a role in your life. Sometimes, it all makes sense like the fact that someone has to do all the jobs that some people consider menial. The next time you are somewhere and see someone washing a floor or picking up the garbage, I hope you think twice, because can you imagine the state of our infrastructure if we didn’t have these people working for us. Without these people, no one would want to stay in a hotel or shop in a store or do a variety of other activities.

Sometimes, you meet people and you cannot understand why – these can be the people who treat us badly or make us feel bad. Do we really need them in our lives? I bet you wish that you didn’t have to deal with these people, but the truth is all of us will encounter these types of situations at some point in our lives. These people teach us things – but sometimes it is hard to know what – but I think we meet them because we need to learn how to stand up for ourselves, or to learn acceptance, or patience.

The world is full of connections both good and bad ones. It is how you deal with each situation that is presented to you that is important. We should all treat everyone with respect regardless of what job they do, how much money they earn, what colour their skin is or what religion they practice, because we are all connected, we all live on planet Earth and the more we are willing to take the time to be kind, the better we can make our world. It just takes one person at a time to make positive changes.