Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlepeeps

The above picture has nothing to do with this post. It’s just a Christmas card that I got from my talented writer friend Becky. Be sure to click on it to see it bigger. Isn’t it adorable??!!

Anyway. Every year, during the panic of before-Christmas shopping, I struggle with rude people. I’m seeing more of them when it comes to certain types of behaviors. A friend of mine mentioned that she’s noticed it, too, and she thinks it’s because of the way reality shows emphasize competition. They glamorize greed. Unfortunately, I agree.

I've had a few too many people play “chicken” with grocery carts this year. I am weary and hostile…which means I’ve allowed other people's rudeness to negatively influence me.

Fortunately, every Christmas season I also have at least one stranger teach me a good lesson. This year’s came from a woman in Target. There was nothing especially outstanding about her; she was just a person who seemed to have what I would call an aura of decency.

I kept encountering her in different aisles, and she was always polite. She said, “excuse me,” didn’t hog aisles, and took turns. She had a lovely smile that left me feeling warmed and cheered.
At one point two little boys went by her, and the youngest dumped over a display. When the older boy (who was only about five) cleaned up the mess, I overheard her offer to help. Then she complimented the little boy on his sense of responsibility. I left the store feeling good as a direct result of this brief encounter with a total stranger.

Later on, I thought back about this. Because she was pleasant, did I think she was weak? Not at all. She came across as elegant, secure, and socially and emotionally polished.

And as for the rude ones…do they come across as strong or superior? On the contrary, pushy, greedy people come across as desperate, shallow, and ignorant to me.

So this year I’ve been trying to remember the Target Lady. I keep reminding myself that I take charge by allowing my own good cheer possibly to influence others rather than allowing others’ negativity to get to me. It's helping. I notice that the more I smile and enjoy myself, the more pleasant other people are...and the more the rude ones just seem to disappear. Thanks, Target Lady.

Hope you got as much of a laugh as I did at the above card. And have a merry day and a wonderful holiday.

From president John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural address, Jan. 20, 1961:
“…civility is not a sign of weakness….”

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for posting a picture of my Christams card! As you know, I've been having issues with my laptop photo program, so I was unable to put it on my blog! I appreciate it! And I'm glad you enjoyed it as much as I did!
    Also, I totally agree about courtesy and kindness, versus rudeness and hostility. I smile often at anyone in my vicinity....it's just my nature! And I always love it when it brings back a smile to me!


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