I was recently traveling home to Vancouver from the Delta Airlines South Terminal at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport after a blistering high-paced and stunning two weeks of personal and group successes.
As I went into the bathroom before passing through security, feeling rather spent, and with my mind preoccupied with the amount of work I had to do when I got home and the long flight looming ahead of me, I was unexpectedly greeted with a huge grin by the bathroom attendant and an effusive “Welcome to the Happy Bathroom”. She went on to cheerily say in her sing-songy voice: “This is the Happy Bathroom. Happy when you come in. Happy when you leave. Happy on your flight”.
I couldn’t help but chuckle – and as I went about my business, I heard her address every single person who came into the bathroom in a similar way. She wasn’t asking for tips, she wasn’t asking for anything. She simply was giving of herself to make people’s days brighter.
As I washed my hands I observed how the attendant changed, one by one, the outward presence of every single person who entered the bathroom. I marvelled at her joy-filled countenance which she maintained while doing what might possibly be considered one of the worst jobs at the airport. I was blown away by the way she consistently and so very simply was spreading joy.
I wondered ” How do I show up in this world”? “How do I walk down the street?” “How did I walk into the airport bathroom?” Life is a matter of attitude, and the attitude we adopt daily is our choice. I started thinking about what attitude I could consistently adopt to have a similar positive impact.
Weeks later, I am still thinking about that woman and about the many lives she touched and turned around in one day by her simple, joyous, heartfelt greeting, “Welcome to the happy bathroom”.
Thank you to my happy bathroom attendant. Not only did you set up my positive mood to embrace my 7 hour flight, but you also reminded me of a very simple life lesson:
“Life is an echo: What you send out, you get back. What you give, you receive. When you bring out the best in others, you bring out the best in yourself. “ – Anonymous