An Unmistakable Contrast: Two Men, Same Job, and No Comparison

Walking into the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), I was astonished to find the security guard greeting me with a welcoming smile and a simple triage to determine if I was there for the DMV or early voting. As I confirmed DMV, this exuberant gentleman provided me with my number (in lieu of standing in line) before I could reach for the slip of paper myself.

I took my seat on the wooden bench and found myself drawn to this security guard’s one-man show. I was amused watching other people enter the room. Glancing at the long voting line, their frowns quickly turned upside down in response to this man’s entertaining demeanor.

Then the electricity went out (for real!), and he didn’t miss a beat. He took control and passed out papers with alternate DMV and voting locations. When it looked like the lights wouldn’t be coming on any time soon, I headed off to another DMV.

Walking into the building, I took my own number and found a seat. Looking up from my book, I noticed security guard #2 sitting behind a stand. He was reading something with his head down, and I felt my inner smile turn upside down. The contrast between the energy in this room and the comedy show I had just attended was startling.

Later that evening, I shared my observations of the DMV experience at the dinner table, and I knew I wanted to share them with you too. What does this story of An Unmistakable Contrast bring up for you?


  1. How do you greet people when they enter a room?
  2. What energy do you give out to others around you? e.g., your coworkers? Acquaintances?
  3. How do you maintain your own inner joy when you find the light around you dimming?