It was yet another required doctor appointment. Mr. Legs took more time off from work to take me. We arrived early, as requested, checked in, and started filling out the necessary paperwork.
Sitting there in the waiting room, I tried to hold the office clipboard, a pen, my paper folder containing relevant documents for that doctor and my medication list, a small purse holding my identification card and insurance card, the eyeglasses I’d just taken off (that work for further distance) to replace them with the ones that work for close distance, all while balancing my bum on my small scooter and trying to keep my left leg from flopping so far over that I risk it pulling my foot off the scooter floor. I was anxious to get the forms completed before being called back for my appointment.
It was in the middle of my concentration on those things that an older gentleman sitting across from us chose to interrupt and say “I’d like to give you my card”. After a short pause, I’m quite sure I met his eyes with an irritated scowl and replied “what are you selling?
They are all over, people who are sure they know how to improve your life or get you on your legs again with what they are selling. They disguise their marketing pitches or their feeling of superiority with concern. Whether its a particular vitamin, a miracle diet, an essential oil, a prepaid funeral or a religious belief, they are certain they will be the messenger that makes a difference in your life. I do truly appreciate good intentions, but after so many years on wheels, there’s a tendency to become skeptical and cynical.
The man who said he wanted to give me his card reached into his pocket and pulled out a small thick piece of paper and presented it to me. There, in the center of that business card sized piece of paper were only two words in bold print. “My Card!“.
I cracked a small smile, but a smile nonetheless. The man laughed loudly, obviously pleased with himself that he had lightened my mood. As he laughed, his whole body moved with delight. “Clever”, I said to him, and he answered with a look of complete satisfaction.
All he had wanted to share was a smile – a bit of happy on a piece of paper there in that doctor’s office where almost nobody is there for a pleasant reason. I finished filling out the forms and turned them in at the front desk. Soon my name was called and I passed through the clinic door, returning to a more serious mood as I met with the nurse and then the physician’s assistant. But I took my “My Card” card and a less tense facial expression with me.
I keep that card near my computer. I grin whenever I look at it and I can still see that man’s face and his hear his laughter. I wonder how many other people he has shared his non-business card with and how many smiles he has both collected and given because of them. Very clever, and also very kind.
Lesson learned. Not everyone wants to sell something. Some people just want to share a free smile.