After a long hiatus, my blog is back. It feels good to be writing it again.

Last week, I hit up my local Chipotle for lunch. I'm sort of a regular there, like a lot of people who frequent the menu-simple, recently in-the-news-for-the-wrong-kind-of-reasons eatery.

I arrived around 1:30 pm on a Thursday, and the line was thin - uncommon for Chipotle, but given the bad press they've been receiving lately, I guess I can understand why.  So it's my turn to order, and the "burrito guy", as I jokingly refer to him, gives me the look of "What will it be?" - to which I reply with a smile: "Burrito, please."  Without flinching, he looks up at me and says, "You are the first person who has said please all day."

"Man, really? It's 1:30. That can't be right." He said he wasn't kidding. I replied, "I guess people just get caught up with their day, they bury their noses in their smart phones. I don't know." We talked about it for a few more seconds, and then I moved down the line to get my salsa and guac.

But as a glanced back at him, I noticed a positive change in his state. I got the impression that something as simple as saying please, combined with a smile, made his day a little brighter.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I've been using Chipotle as a mini-laboratory for a few months now. I engage with every employee. I smile. A lot. I look people in the eye. I use complete sentences. I give compliments. And you know what? They love me there. I've been hooked up with free meals a few times. I receive the kind of positive attention that most people don't get.

But I don't really care about the free meals and that other stuff- what I love is bringing a smile to people's faces. I love seeing a change in their state when I treat them how I would want to be treated if I were on the other side of the glass.

I'm no saint. I get caught up with life like a lot of people out there. But when I make an intention for myself before I approach a situation, like interacting with employees at Chipotle, I am no longer reacting to life. Instead, I decide how I want to show up - when I go in there, my intention is to make someone's day a little brighter, with a simple act of kindness.

It costs me nothing.