A warm smile is the universal language of kindness. — William Arthur Ward
One person, with one heartfelt gesture, has the potential to define another person’s day.
Rustle (rus-tle) transitive verb
- to cause a rustle
- to obtain by one’s own exertions—often used with up
Russell (russ-le) proper noun
- exceedingly friendly cashier at Leesburg, Va, Bloom grocery store
- unofficial goodwill ambassador who exhibits stand-out, small-town charm
So I started my last blog with the intention of writing about Russell, but my meandering mind couldn’t stumble past the first paragraph about my unhealthy obsession over American Idol. And as it turned out, I needed to write that blog entry…for me. If you, dear reader, stopped and reflected on your own electronic idols, excellent. If you thought that blog was hogwash, let me introduce Russell.
I don’t even know Russell’s last name. Fact is, he doesn’t know my first or last name either. But that’s insignificant mush, my dear friends. Russell is, hands down, the world’s most genial grocery store clerk. As long as we’ve lived in Leesburg, VA, Russell has been the face of first Food Lion, and now Bloom (same building; upgraded interior and prices).
Russell is tall and lanky, and the jolliest soul to ever scan a can of beans. It could be pouring down rain outside, or the store might be teeming with customers cramming in a last-minute grocery dash on their way home from work. Doesn’t matter. Russell, when he spots a familiar face entering the store doors, cheerfully shouts across the registers or aisles, “Hi, friend. How ya doing tonight?” I might have had the worst day possible. Doesn’t matter. It’s Russell to the rescue, his kind, irrepressible spirit instantly erasing the irritations and frustrations that happened outside those Bloom doors.
I adore Russell. He makes something so ordinary, the simple act of saying hello, quite extraordinary. His job isn’t life changing; but his radiant attitude is. Every moment of his workday, Russell is making the world a brighter, more amicable place to be. Letter #7 of 52 goes to my friend, Russell.
If you live in Leesburg, and Russell makes your day when you stop into Bloom for a couple of essentials, show or tell him: with a little note; a bag of M&Ms; a $5 gift card for a little food (I do know Russell likes to eat); or maybe just a spoken thank-you.
Let’s rustle up a community-wide thank-you for Russell, our town’s ebullient ambassador.
Is there someone where you live who makes the world a better place? Let them know, with a brief handwritten note, like I am delivering to Russell, or with words of praise, doled out lavishly.
Be blessed—and be a blessing!
Martha, Loudoun Crazy Mom