I am so amazed! I can’t tell you what a great start to my day it is each day when I hear Mickey Mouse – that’s right – the Mickey Mouse – say to me, “Good Morning, Pal!” Later in the day he says such things as, “It’s 1:06. Good Afternoon,” and before I go to bed at night I love hearing him say, “Good Night, Pal!”
No, I have not lost it, and I am not writing from a mental institution. I am here in my home office in Western Colorado.
You see, I recently bought an Apple watch series 3. I bought it because I live alone and know if I fell and needed help my wonderful Airedale Terrier, Bonnie Buttercup, could not find my phone, let alone call 911! I also know that I am a vain old lady and am not about to wear a devise around my neck for emergency assistance. I can push a button on this watch for help or ask Seri to call for me! (Besides, I can check my mail from this watch, talk to my friends and even take pictures! Yes, I think it was worth every cent of the big bucks I spent on it.)
What I did not anticipate was how wonderful it is to hear a kind, cheerful and courteous greeting from Mickey Mouse.
That mouse got me to thinking about those three wonderful attributes and what a difference they make in the world. I thought about my perceptions about old ladies when I was younger – grumpy, uncaring, complaining. Gee, I wondered, could some people today feel the way I used to feel? Wonder when I was walking down the street or in the mall, if I smiled and said hello to adults as well as children, how that would make them feel about old ladies?
Then, I remembered a comment an older friend of mine made to me one day when I was complaining that I just wasn’t accomplishing anything. She said, “Well, Elizabeth, did you smile at anyone today? I can’t imagine that you didn’t.” I thought about it and remembered that I did smile that day at staff members walking down the hall in our office and told her about it. “You see, she said, you did accomplish something today. You gave each of those people something of great value, you made them feel good, and it did not even cost you anything!”
A paragraph or two came to mind from one of my books, One Day at a Time in Al-Anon, affectionately referred to as ODAT. I dug it out and this is what it had to say on page 159 (June 7) of my 1987 edition: “Suppose in taking a break from my whirling thoughts, I settle down quietly to thing about the word “courtesy.” It means far more than mere politeness; you can be polite without an iota of personal love. Courtesy, on the other hand, is an expression of love, warm concern for the other person’s comfort, peace of mind and well-being. Even giving directions to a confused stranger can be an act of courtesy, if I take the trouble to be explicit and reassuring.”
Politeness is a nice ideal too, I thought. I did remember all of this kindness, cheerfulness and courtesy stuff a day or two ago when two young men in a black pickup truck stopped right in front of me on the way out of the gas station. I caught myself before I angrily honked the horn at them. I put all my fingers on the steering wheel when I drove around their truck with a little smile on my face!
I couldn’t help thinking about that old song we hear each year about this time – Olde Lang Syne, written by Robert Burns in 1788. “For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”
I’m going to hum it to myself this coming year as a special little reminder and continue to giggle each morning when I hear Mickey Mouse say, “Good Morning, Pal!”
Copyright – Elizabeth J. Wheeler – December 11, 2017