The Vaccarini Club
Some years ago Bodhi Path member Shinji Isozaki listened to a friend tell this story: While in a park, she noticed that a single gardener was doing the work of three people (The city had let several gardeners go.). Day after day the lone gardener picked up litter, swept leaves, trimmed trees, mowed lawns, and did not leave the park until late in the day.
No one seemed to notice this man’s tireless efforts to maintain the park. Overcome with gratitude, Shinji’s friend wrote a personal note of appreciation and handed the envelope – with a $100 bill inside – to the gardener with verbal thanks. After hearing this story, Shinji suggested he and his friend form a club whose purpose was to recognize the sincere efforts of people who make diligent efforts that go unnoticed and unappreciated. Monetary contributions were to be for special situations; the focus was on-the-spot verbal expressions of thanks for the invisible work force who keep our city running in good order.
Shinji’s friend’s last name is Vaccarino; they decided to call themselves the Vaccarinis; all who to “do a Vaccarini” would be members and they would look for opportunities to “do a Vaccarini,” a term they coined to mean “express gratitude to someone whose diligent efforts go unrecognized.”
Being a Vaccarini helps us be mindful of those who serve us behind the scenes, people we often taken for granted. Examples of “doing a Vaccarini” might include thanking the person who so carefully maintains your condominium building, the worker who empties your trash into the dumpster, the supermarket cashier whose cheerful greeting and chit-chat always lift your spirits. “Doing a Vaccarini” can be as simple as sincerely saying, “Thank you for your work” or “I appreciate your work.”