I’m in the process of revising Forbidden Talents, the second book of my Vinlanders’ Saga. It’s a romantic fantasy. Fairly early in the book my heroine, Saeun, escapes with her elderly maid Gert, just before being arrested for violating religious laws against using magic.
“How do you know so much?” Saeun asked. “I can’t imagine you learned to get along in the mountains while tending my mother all those years.”
A gleam sparkled in Gert’s eye. “I haven’t always been an old woman, dear. I listened when my lovers bragged about their adventures.”
For a moment Saeun didn’t know what to say. Gert had lovers? Gert had always been there, first serving her mother and then herself. . . . Why had she never considered that Gert had a life beyond her service?
“Don’t look so shocked.”
“Im not. I’m . . . I just never . . .never thought about . . . .” Saeun looked away, embarrassed.
“Most never do, dear. And you’re young yet. But remember this, if you ever have a staff again and wish to have their loyalty as well as their obedience, it helps to see them, and to listen.”
The message from Frankie’s Soapbox today is to really see the clerks and wait-staff you encounter this week. Look them in the eye and wish them a happy holiday. You never know when someone you encounter needs an extra smile. Think kind thoughts about the person who cuts you off in traffic, too. They may have a sick kid at home, or be behind on their rent. They’ll never know whether you curse or bless them, but you will.
Remember, everything you do shapes who you’ll be tomorrow.