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….”