Recently, during a phone call to schedule an appointment, I happened to speak to a woman named Monica. From the beginning of our conversation, I was struck by her congeniality. There was something powerfully disarming about her demeanor and the tone of her voice. She sounded like one of the most joyful people I had ever encountered. There was more to my reaction than her quick helpfulness and excellent phone skills. She had an extraordinarily pleasant personality. Although I had not met Monica, I was immediately comfortable in her presence, even though we were only speaking by phone.

A few days later, when my wife and I had the opportunity to speak with Monica in person, we both discovered that she was even more engaging and likable in person. At the beginning of our visit, Monica created a most comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Her authenticity was undeniable. I cannot remember ever having such an experience upon meeting someone for the first time. I actually felt uplifted by our brief period of contact.

What does it say about our world when someone with a simple, unassuming, and polite personality makes such a lasting impression? I don’t think my reaction to Monica was due to a lack of contact with people. As a matter of fact, I think her charm stood out because of the contrasting episodes I routinely have with other people. It’s not that I encounter sour people most of the time; it’s that I rarely encounter genuinely pleasant people.

I relate this short story simply because this casual encounter was encouraging and caused me to reflect on my own disposition. I realized how easy it is to provide a moment or two of enjoyment for another person. I also concluded that what should be found in all of us—namely, a friendly and helpful demeanor—really stands out when you run into it.