June 15th, 2022
“He did not want to appear at a loss or to let his followers down. He decided that it would be best to be plain and friendly.”
– Watership Down
If this quote sounds familiar, it’s probably because I either told you what it means to me in real life, or you read my post about it two years ago. (Or, possibly, you’ve also read my favorite book.)
Plain & friendly are the two words I think about most each day. They’re the words I try to live by, and I fall short often, but I never stop trying. I joke that if I ever get a tattoo, it’ll be something to remind me of these two words.
They only feel more relevant every time I wake up. They only feel more meaningful in a world that is complicated & cruel.
I was training at work today and always pretend to have wise words to say. I am a great pretender. Regardless of their perceived value, however, I always mean them and they come from a place of experience.
It’s true in many fields, but I feel like it’s especially true of the industry service: we can be the best part of somebody’s day, and we can do that by just being nice.
I think one of the reasons people get burned out at work is because they solely subscribe to the intended purpose of having a job: to get money. They get in and get out and they do it surgically, without touching the electrified edges.
But life is messy.
And in that mess we make connections and feel feelings and tell each other our stories, and making a person’s day is the most significant thing we can do in a person’s life.
And any job that allows you to do that is a job worth having.
Plain & friendly isn’t boring. It can be stunning, it can be funny, it can be deep & profound, it can be dry & sarcastic. It’s listening and sharing and vibing and it’s the small stuff that stays stuck in you forever.
I fall short. There are people to whom I still owe more plain friendship to, as it, too, means being able to say you were wrong and that you are sorry. I’m better at that now, but I’m eternally in progress.
Sometimes the world is overwhelming, so I wanted to share again these two words with you, because they’re the words I use to overcome it.
I just want to be plain. I just want to be friendly.