I had the opportunity last week to spend a couple of days at the National Western Stock Show with my wife. We had wanted to go for some time and volunteering to work at the Beef Council booth was the commitment we needed to actually prioritize and get there. I was impressed by the good attendance and felt somewhat out of my element in the heavy traffic of people.
The booth was a great learning experience. There were a wide variety of people who came by with a full spectrum of questions. It ranged from children who wanted to know where the beef cuts displayed in the refrigerated case came from to the elderly man who wanted advice on what beef he could cook for himself since his wife was a vegetarian. Some folks walked by in a determined fashion, seeming to be afraid of any interaction. A few approached stealthily in an effort to get a complimentary cutting board without talking to anyone. The best ones engaged, interacted, and asked questions or gave personal experiences.
There were some who wanted to compare the beef they ate to the show cattle they had watched competing in the ring. Others related their love of beef and their favorite cooking methods, being careful not to expose any secret family recipes or ingredients. Some were just downright friendly, visiting with and enjoying people around them wherever they went.
As I reflected on the people I had met, I recommitted to interacting with and enjoying the people around me more. In a digital age where we spend a lot of time face to screen, there is much we miss in friendliness, good nature, and mutual support. The world has lots of people from all kinds of backgrounds who care about each other and are willing to invest the time to show it.
Let’s all smile a little more, take time to ask how someone is doing or even offer sincerely to help out. It could be helpful to our contacts and healthy for ourselves. We may teach something, learn something, or both. What if we created more happiness?