Be Kind

I found out that a member of my building’s custodial staff passed away sometime this week.

I only interacted with him a handful of times but he was always kind in those brief encounters. He was a decent, caring man who was always working hard to ensure the building was clean and up to standards.

I couldn’t help but think that he passed away while he was still employed here, probably to support his family and make ends meet. He didn’t get to retire and enjoy the later years of his life with his loved ones. He spent his final months serving others to make their lives easier. To make my life easier.

My building isn’t that fancy. It’s nice and secure, but I don’t live in one of the most luxurious towers in Chicago. Still, there are benefits to living here. We pay for security, parking, and more. The staff helps ensure our safety and quality of life. It always gives me peace of mind to know that my wife will be safe and secure while I’m on the road for weeks at a time.

It may not be the fanciest building, but it is a nice place to live and I’m thankful for it every day. I’m grateful for the staff and the neighborhood and the proximity to local destinations.

I found it hard to write something meaningful this week, for many reasons. Mostly, I think the highly politicized news cycle made it difficult for me to find purpose in my ideas. The weight of the world can sometimes make my daily struggles seem very trivial.

I read this story last week that really broke my heart. It made me want to be nicer to everyone around me - the remaining staff in my building, strangers on the bus, my friends, my wife. It was a stark reminder that my life is pretty great and I’m very, very fortunate.

All I want this week is to be grateful for my place in the world and the fact that I get to travel for a job and entertain people everywhere I go. I get plenty of days off, have a beautiful and talented wife, and a lovely apartment where I spend the majority of my time. I don’t take it for granted.

Be grateful for the people around your that make your life easier. Go out of your way to thank them. And remember the oft-quoted phrase “Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a hard battle.”

Have a good week. Do your best. I’ll see you next Thursday.