Friday, August 3, 2018

How Going Above and Beyond Creates a Happier You and a Better World

I recently was touched by two Safeway Food Store people who went "above and beyond" to make my world - and this world - a better place. 

You'll meet both of these lovely people in this post. In addition, one of these people is featured in our most recent, "Make the World a Better Place" podcast episode. You can listen to that special episode at the end of this post.

Let's meet our "Above and Beyond" stars:

In our most recent episode of, "Make the World a Better Place" podcast, you'll meet a young Safeway Food checkout cashier who did exactly that. You can listen to that podcast episode below.

You'll also read below about an older gentleman who works in that same store's bakery who, a few weeks earlier, also went "above and beyond" and what you and I can learn about the power of "above and beyond" to create happiness and - yes - a truly better world.

The Safeway Shopping Story

Yesterday after entering a Safeway Food store to do some shopping, I first stopped by the bread section to purchase a special tasty Rosemary bread they bake in their stores. 

I made my selection and took it to the bread department's counter to have it sliced. There, I saw an employee I had talked with a few weeks earlier. 

During that earlier visit, this gentleman had gone "above and beyond". He was the only person in the department at the time. When I asked if he would slice the bread, he replied he was off the clock. He added he had stayed late on his own time to finish up some work he hadn't had a chance to finish during his working hours.

I said, "No problem", but something told me to continue our conversation. Over the next five minutes, I learned he was a retired auditor from a major city government and was working at Safeway part-time to keep busy. 

He also spent 10-years in the U.S. Army serving in several war zones. Tears started to fill his eyes when he told me about losing his wife to cancer just a year earlier. 

"I work", he said, "to keep my mind busy so I don't dwell on my lovely wife."

As we talked, he asked me to hand him the bread, which he deftly put through the slicer. As he handed back the now sliced bread, we finished our conversation and I continued shopping.

Fast Forward to This New Shopping Day

Fast forward to this second meeting. We again had a wonderful conversation as he completed the bread slicing task. We again talked briefly about his wife, but he seemed to be in much better spirits as he explained what household tasks he would be doing over his coming two days off.

After finishing our conversation, I moved on to the Deli section where I purchased turkey and ham. The lady behind the counter was smiling and pleasant.

The Problem Discovered

Having finished my shopping, I walked to the checkout area. As I placed my items on the belt, I noticed the tab that was supposed to slide and lock the baggie closed wasn't working. You couldn't close the plastic baggie to keep the turkey deli meat secure.

The cashier - a young lady about 19 years old - greeted me as she activated the belt to bring the items up for checkout. I mentioned we need to be careful about placing the meat plastic baggie in the checkout bag and pointed to the malfunctioning tab

She picked up the baggie, looked at the tab, and said, "Hm". She proceeded to test the closing tab a couple of times with no luck. She worked on the tab for about 20 or 30 seconds and then slid the tab to close the baggie. 

"Yes!" she proclaimed with a big grin.

I complemented the cashier, telling her how much I appreciate her persistence and willingness to fix the problem. Her face beamed as she said, "Thank you!".

"A small thing", you may say. And indeed it is. But she could have simply folded the plastic baggie over and put it in a grocery bag. 

The Power of "Above and Beyond"

Both of these two people - different in age and gender - are beautiful examples of how simple acts of kindness can change the emotions and energy for the better of those they touch. 

But here's another truth: going above and beyond creates positive emotions and energy for those who themselves go above and beyond. Going above and beyond is the gift that keeps on giving.

Actions that go above and beyond can be small and simple. Like the "Butterfly Effect", we may never know how our own above and beyond actions affect one person in the short term or thousands of people in the long term. It doesn't matter. Going above and beyond creates its own positive reward within the actor and the audience.

For me, I'm inspired to look for more ways to go above and beyond to help others every day. 

I hope you will join me.

Blessings and light,

Steve Carter | Stress Solutions, LLC |

"Make the World a Better Place" Podcast Episode:

If you don't see the player, click this direct listening URL link:

P.S. To listen to other positive podcasts, visit