One of the cleaners in my school is female. That might not seem like a big deal to some of you young people, but to me it is a great big deal. This woman is performing a job that I spent almost my whole life thinking was a male only job. Every time I pass her cleaning outside, I try to say a few words to her. To me, she is a great role model. She is a true 21st century woman. I became a teacher because it was a job that was open to women. She became a cleaner, a job traditionally done solely by men.
Today when I arrived at school this cleaner was sitting at a desk in the custodian's office. I stopped to say hello and said "I think, this is the first time I have ever seen you sitting." Her reaction stunned me. She had tears in her eyes, grabbed my hand and said "thank you for noticing." I couldn't believe an innocent, meaningless comment on my part could make anyone feel so good. We talked for a few more minutes and I even told her my opinions of her and her chosen profession. When I left her, she said I made her day.
We all need to stop, look around, and let the people around us know that they are valued and appreciated. It costs nothing and takes no time or effort.