Recognition…Make Their Day!

Great Job

When I was in high school and college, I worked at a grocery store in southern California.  I remember for the first few months, before I became a checker, I was a box girl.  Part of my duties was to go out into the parking lot for an hour at a time (and this was in the heat of the summerit was hotter than Heck!) and collect the  grocery carts that people left all over the parking lot.  People would leave them far and wide, and I remember sweating and running and hustling.  I was really doing a great job in part because I didnt want to endure this duty all summer long.  I thought if I worked by butt off and memorized the produce codes that I would soon get promoted to a checker (that meant no more cart gathering)which I did in record time!

The point of this story:

Ever since I worked that job, I have had a great respect and sympathy for the kids collecting the carts (rain or shine). When I do my personal shopping I always take my grocery cart back to the corral or I sometimes even take the cart all the way back into the grocery store.  I do this out of a personal habit, to help the poor kids who are now out there rounding up all the grocery carts, and just to do my part. 

Grocery Carts

So, the other day, I was returning my cart back into the store.  And on my way back to my car, two different people commented on my actions.  One was an employee, she said, Wow, thank you so much, it is really appreciated!  The other was another patron heading into the store himself.  He said, You dont see that anymore, taking the cart all the way back into the storethats a great thing you didgood job! 

Once I got into my car I took a minute and reflected on those two comments. Returning the cart is just something that I do, its not something I do for praise.  But to hear it, to be recognized for something I do out of habit, it just made my whole day.  It made my heart really happy.  For someone to go out of their way to tell me that it was impressive or that it was a good example of humanity, and that they noticed, really fluffed my feathers.  It put a bounce in my step. It made me feel really proud of myself.

By my act of goodness, did I refresh the spectator’s spirit?  And did their recognition of my act of goodness refresh my spirit? Yes!

1 Corinthians 16:18 – For they refreshed my spirit and yours also.  Such men deserve recognition.


So, naturally, my thinking went a step further.  I thought, wow, here I am a grown woman and I am so positively affected by these uplifting comments from two strangers.  Taking a shopping cart back into the store is such a small thing, but being recognized for it made such a huge impact on my whole day.  I could only imagine how my kids, someone elses kids, or even a stranger feels when I recognize them for doing something great, or out of the ordinary.  I bet that makes them feel so good about empowering! I realized that I dont do it enough, and that such a simple thing can make such a positive impact in the lives of others. 

Recognition is so powerful!  What if we all took the time to voice it when we see someone doing a good deed?  How would we, together, grow exponentially for the better?  Can you imagine the Ripple Effect that would occur? Lets recognize some people this week!  Who can you recognize to make them feel really special this week and beyond?  Look around while you are out and about.  I bet you will find all kinds of people to empower with your kind words of recognition!

I Dare You!



  1. Michael Bobeczko says:


    In many surveys, the number one benefit almost every employee wants is recognition for a job well done. The irony is that the cost to the employer is zero, but it is so rarely done.

    Hopefully, your blog will make this world and our workplaces a better and more enjoyable place to live.

  2. I almost always return my cart too! I don’t think it’s nice when people leave them in parking spaces, etc. Now, I challenge you to take it a step further… This is what I often do:
    1. Take your cart back… Then,
    2. Offer to help someone load their groceries & take their cart back for them.

    This is great for kids to see & help with. Make it a game to choose a person to help. It’s fun & makes you feel oh so good!

    Thanks for the reminder… I haven’t done this in awhile. Today I will!

  3. Cheryl beck says:

    Thank you for some great thoughts. Our world is so full of negatives. We all need to stop and look around us at what is going on that is positive.

  4. You have inspired me again Deanna…
    Today when I hit Costco, I am taking my cart back!
    A small but kind gesture and a fantastic way to burn off some of those free samples too! :~)

  5. thanks! what a great reminder!!

  6. Boy can I relate on this one. I do the same thing taking my carts to the corral, because I know it helps the kids do their jobs more efficiently. If I park and there are a few carts near my car I will grab them and push them to the corral and use one for myself. My kids always asked why don’t you just get a cart in the store? I tell them anyone who works in the grocery business appreciates anyone bringing a cart back, and it’s the right thing to do if they are blocking a parking spot for someone else. I know when I worked and someone brought a cart in I was sure to thank them too. Any act of kindness is always welcomed right?

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