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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
LAST week, I encountered a really mean person while enrolling my daughter at City High. I would not want to go into the nitty-gritty somewhat-gory details of the experience; suffice it to say that I felt somewhat bullied and truly annoyed by it.
I never cut lines. In a queue I wait for my turn, or even give my slot to an elderly or a mother with little kids just to lessen their hassle. I have taught my children to get those flyers being given away by employees or salespeople in malls just to lessen these working people's burden, telling my kids that they need to give out the flyers, and that although we do not read anyway, we are somewhat helping these people get their work done so they can go home. To date, my youngest eagerly gets the flyers even when she is carrying her school or shopping bag. So I was really shocked with the accusation, and even though it was a busy day and I probably had every reason to turn godzilla I decided to keep my cool.
"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
This is one of the best quotes I have ever loved, and one I painstakingly live by as best as I could, day by day. It's one piece of advice I never fail to share to my students. Indeed, a kind word or even a smile can make the world a whole lot better: it may be the best thing some people receive from anyone that day.
It was disturbing to be accused of something that never even crossed my mind, or of causing annoyance I never intended to cause, but I decided to just sit that one out. It's just a matter of perspective, and I have a feeling she must be going through something to lash out with that degree of negativity I just simply refuse to be part of my day.
As serendipity would have it, I came across an article entitled "How Not to be Offended" written by Dr. Shemsi Prinzivalli, and posted in http://theunboundedspirit.com/how-not-to-be-offended/. It's a really, really wonderful read. Let me quote my favorite part:
"How often do we react to a statement of another by being offended rather than seeing that the other might actually be hurting? In fact, every time we get offended, it is actually an opportunity to extend kindness to one who may be suffering-even if they themselves do not appear that way on the surface. All anger, all acting out, all harshness, all criticism, is in truth a form of suffering. When we provide no Velcro for it to stick, something changes in the world. We do not even have to say a thing. In fact, it is usually better not to say a thing."
Amen to that. Happy Thursday, everyone. (firstname.lastname@example.org/ www.serendipitycouch.com)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on May 29, 2014.