A Beautiful Reminder / by Deborah Nugent

It is easy in today’s world of electronic communication to lose sight of the importance of human connection.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to be able to send a text or post some interesting link on facebook, but it does not compare with our ability to connect with someone through eye contact.

I had an unexpected wakeup call in the most unexpected place, the ladies room of my company’s corporate office in Manhattan!  I was scheduled to make a presentation in 10 minutes and was running late, which for those of you who know me, is par for the course.  I have been in the corporate arena for over 20 years but still find myself getting nervous before a presentation and need a few minutes of focused breathing to settle down.

As I stepped into the bathroom, there was a cleaning woman that was working at the counter.  I stepped up to one of the open sinks and began to close my eyes to breathe. Right before lowering my eyes, I noticed that the counter was filled with beautiful plants.  They were arranged in what could only be considered an artistic display and I was intrigued to see how much care went into to making the space nice.  Certainly, the other floors are not decked out like this one was.

I looked up into the mirror and noticed the cleaning woman was looking at me with a smile on her face.  She asked me if I liked the plants, to which I replied how calming I found the space.  She just smiled and went back to her work.  I asked her if she knew why this restroom had been decorated like this and was truly humbled by her response.

She said. “ Oh dear, I do that for all of you.  It is important for you to have beautiful living things around so you can remember to smile”.  Boy did I smile then! I thanked her for creating the wonderful space before heading off to my meeting.

I can’t help but reflect on how this woman, who most of us pass by without ever addressing, was caring for all of us. She intuitively knew that beauty is created in the simple acts. It has the power to shift your emotions and with that comes a shift in perspective.

A beautiful reminder from a beautiful woman, that our eyes are open but we still have to take the time to see!