Some thoughts written in 1931 by a woman in Wyoming–
Recently I bought a dress and hat at a local shop kept by a women who, early in life, was suddenly and without preparation thrust into the position of breadwinner for herself and husband. Through the various ups and downs of her career in our town, she has maintained a sturdy courage and turned to the world a smiling, cheery face. Of her inner conflicts and disheartenment, she alone knows.
I had some difficulty in finding what I wanted. This took considerable time and “trying on.” Nevertheless, I met with only untiring efforts to please.
The next time I was in town I dropped into the shop to tell the proprietor that I had been uncommonly well satisfied with my purchases. I also said that the hat in particular had been much admired by certain others of her customers, who jocularly lamented that they had not “beaten me to it.” I could see that she was both surprised and touched.
“Well, your saying so helps a lot,” she said warmly. “Not many of my customers take the trouble to come back to tell me such nice things. As a rule they come back only to register complaints. These small courtesies make the going easier for those of us who are struggling in the business world.”
These pleasantries cost only the practice of thoughtfulness and a little time. Those who go through life with pockets jingling with bright words, which they spend freely, may purchase one of the most precious commodities in the market place of the world. That is the good-will of their associates,–that mysterious essence “which suffuses both bestower and recipient with the glow of friendliness.”