Monday, September 29, 2014

A Little Patience and Respect

While driving lately, I've been absolutely stunned and outraged at the number of people that I have witnessed that cut people off in traffic, give the bird, yell obscenities, etc. It's made me think about how we treat each other in society and the direction our world is moving. Before I begin this rant post, let me say that I am 100% as guilty or guiltier than the person next to me. I understand that I need to exercise patience and respect much more than I do right now. But, hopefully we will all re-evaluate how we treat others on a daily basis.

Before moving to Utah, I spent three years working in retail. Many days I think that those years were a waste of time, and I couldn't wait to be out of customer service. But others, I thank God for that opportunity because it made me think how I was treating others that worked in a service position. I believe many of us could benefit from this type of experience, i.e. a low-paying job (most of the time) in which we are expected to be nice and patient with everyone and do our best to keep a smile on our face. It teaches us to try and keep calm and collected in even the most frustrating of positions, and possibly to have a little respect for others in the same situations.

We are all guilty of losing our temper or patience. On my 25th birthday, I had one of the worst shifts of my entire life at work. Nothing was going well, and it was a very busy day at the store that I worked in. One of my customers, at the very end of my shift, argued with me for almost a half-hour about a sign that he stated was incorrectly printed. I am the first one to fix something if I think it is wrong at all, and in this case, I even took care of the customer, though I knew the sign was correct (I had walked back to check it), and the customer had just read it wrong. Yet, he kept telling me how ridiculous I was and that I should make sure no signs were ever that confusing again, harassing me for over twenty minutes. It literally left me in tears. My manager and other employees told me that I handled everything very well, and they wouldn't have even taken care of the customer (meaning given them the lower price), and he should have at least thanked me. It was just an annoying situation, but it truly upset me. Later, I found out that this customer was one of my friend's favorite teachers. She claimed he was the nicest guy, but he obviously was frustrated (wrong or right), and he took it out on me. That instance really forced me to look at how I was treating other people.

Many people often tell me I seem to never be upset, always have a smile on my face, but I, just as others, get frustrated and take it out on other people. I am actively trying to not do that anymore. I want to take a few seconds to remind myself, in those tough situations, that this will pass, and the only thing that could make it worse is to inflict judgment and a rude attitude on the person opposite me in the situation. That person could truly be a mean-spirited person, but they could also be someone that is just trying to do their job the best that they can. Rudeness and ill-tempers in one case lead to a ripple effect, affecting many more than just a couple of people. It may not make much of a difference, but if there are ten more people in the world every day that chose to take the higher ground and react with patience, maybe there would be more happiness in the world. Either way, right now, every ill-tempered situation is just leading to more negativity and hatefulness, and I choose to believe little actions can make a big difference on our society.

I'm challenging myself and all of my readers to approach every situation with a little bit of patience and respect for others. Remember that everyone is inherently good, and people can seem unpleasant as an effect of a bad day. Force yourself to have a positive attitude, even when your day is not going the way you would like. It may sound cheesy, but spread a smile. It really is contagious.

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  1. Amen girl! I've been thinking about this a lot lately too. During the big event of Bikes, Blues, and BBQ that happens every year I was VOLUNTEERING as a parking lot attendant (AKA, watch an empty parking lot and make sure no one parks in it). Generally everyone was really nice and understanding when I told them they couldn't park in an obviously empty spot. However, there was this one group of bikers that decided they had divine right to park there. I gave him the speel and tried to explain that it was parking for vendors for the event. His response? Well I beg to differ because that sign says Public Parking. My response? Well, generally it is but this weekend it it not. Hence the other sign that says VENDORS ONLY. He was not taking no for an answer and just getting more frustrated. I just wanted to tell him that no matter how he angry he was and argued with me I could do nothing to change it. If I let him park there, his bike would get towed and he would be even more angry. Moral of the story, don't take your anger out on people just because it makes you feel better to vent and yell. It just continues the circle of yelling (How I Met Your Mother reference :)). Wow, I think I just added on to your rant. :)

    1. It is so true! People just take out their anger on someone that has no capacity to change it, and it just continues the circle of yelling. Totally caught that reference. ;) Sorry for that experience, girl. :(


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Much Love!

Much Love!