Monday, January 13, 2014

Kindness is King.

What kind of world do we live in that kindness is no longer considered the "norm"? Let me tell you a little story...

I was in Costco the other afternoon (maternity leave leads to a VERY glamorous life, I tell you). The lines were a little cray since it was just a few days after the recent Snowmaggedon here in the Midwest. Anyway, Harper and I were about 6th or 7th in a long line of people with full carts.

I noticed the man in front of me didn't have a cart or anything in his hands to purchase. Instead, he was on his cell phone frantically trying to reach someone. I assumed it was whoever had his cart elsewhere in the store filled with bulk wine, toilet paper and frozen pizzas and he was just simply holding their place in line. As he got closer to the cashier, his calls got more frantic to urge whoever was on the other end of the line to get to checkout ASAP.

Sure enough, just as it's his turn to hit the conveyor belt, his other half strolls up with a cart full. No biggie, right? They put their stuff on the belt, pay, and then it's my turn.

As I started to put my items on the belt, another woman came up to me and grabbed my arm to get my attention. I'm rather used to this when I have Harper with me--people stop me in the most random of places to tell me how beautiful she is, or to comment on her big eyes and mound of hair. But not this lady. She had other intentions.

She stopped whatever she was doing and came to tell me that she was SO surprised and proud of how I reacted to what had just transpired. She said that she would have read that man the riot act and told him to get to the back of the line. "You handled that so well, with such grace--and with a BABY in tow!" she said to me.

I thanked her because her words were genuinely kind and her intentions were true. But really? Really?!? What kind of world do we live in that having patience and treating others with kindness is considered NOT the norm? That when you witness something that seems so normal and so mundane that you go out of your way to compliment someone on it because it's NOT what you expected to witness? I was in a line, waiting my turn...just as others were. I had my child with me because I CHOSE to bring her to the store with me. It was just regular, normal life at a busy store.

Don't get me wrong, I was appreciative of the lady's comments and I do love that there are people in this world who go out of their way to lift up and compliment others. But I didn't do anything special. I did something that everyone else should have done...something that didn't deserve kudos or compliments. But my every day patience was viewed by others as being different or special. Have you ever experienced that?

I struggle with what happened not because it was bad or wrong, but because I want to be certain that in all things I am setting a good and right example for my children. And beyond them, that I am living my OWN life in a way that is calm and true to myself. Imagine if Harper had been old enough to understand the situation and I had acted the way in which that lady "thought" I should have reacted. What kind of example is that? What kind of world is that?

I'm not super sure where I was going with this post, other than it was something I wanted to share to encourage others to practice every day patience and kindness. Slow down. Be kind to others. Say "please" and "thank you" - - because, after all, you never know who you might inspire and you never know what sort of battles those around you are fighting. Be blessed!


Sue Skop said...

It never would have occured to me to "read him the riot act". I probably would have congratulated him on the clever use of line holding. I agree with you that is a sad commentary to be complimented on not reacting in a "road rage" type of attitude. She may not even know, but Harper learned a very valuable lesson.

Kim and Steve said...

It's amazing how much more relaxed we are the second time around ;)