I’m fanatical about clean cars, polished cars. Brake dust is my enemy. So, each week I wash, polish, shine my cars. Call it pride of ownership.
A few weeks ago, at 8AM, I went to this car wash in Jacksonville to handle my usual routine. It was quiet, no other cars around. The lot shown here was empty with the exception of a young man, an employee, maybe age 15 or 16. He was sweeping the lot. Foot by foot. Here’s a young man, a kid, really, giving up his Saturday to sweep asphalt for a few bucks an hour.
I was so impressed with him that I gave him a $20. “Sir, I can’t accept this”, he said. I said “Yes, you can. You’re working hard, earning money, doing things right when others take the easy way out. Buy a pizza or a burger or hang out with friends. Hard work has its rewards and this is yours.” He said “thank you”, smiled, and kept sweeping.
I don’t share this story to present me as some hero. Not at all. I saw in him my son and how hard my son worked as a teen to earn his way, and I wanted this young man to know that what he was doing mattered and was worthy of notice and praise.
What this young man was doing mattered, and it was worthy of praise and notice.