Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Good Life Lesson

Nothing crafty going on here this week.
We are going camping this weekend and so I've been getting ready.
Mentally mostly as it's been 12 years since the last time we camped!

Our son Adam will turn 13 on Saturday and he's been wanting to camp since forever.
And so, for him, we are doing it!

I've avoided it for years but now that it is planned I'm looking forward to it.
Adam is a sweet boy and I'm excited to live in dirt for him!! ;)

***

I also want to share an experience we had today.
It really effected me and was a good reminder in life.

To preface, there was a commercial I remember...it may have been for insurance.. it was one of the ones where the commercial really had nothing to do with the product, but they were sending a good message.
It showed a woman doing something nice for someone, someone sees the act of kindness and they in turn show kindness to someone else and so on until I think the original woman is the recipient of some else's act of kindness.

So, today.

We had just had a frustrating experience at the DMV.

Shocked?

Didn't think so.

Anyway, we decided to stop at McD's for lunch.

As we were walking toward the door a man pulls up in his car.
He hops out and kinda does a slow jog toward the door.

He gets to the door maybe 2 seconds before us, opens the door, walks in and lets the door close in our face.

Now maybe I'm a stickler for manners or expect too much from strangers but in my book if someone is literally right behind you at the door, you hold it for them.

It was obvious to all four of us that he jogged to the door in order to get in before us.
Now, that's not a big deal to me.  I get it. 
He's one guy obviously in a hurry and we are a family of four.
And it is 1pm and somewhat busy.

But to let the door go like that?
That is what really got to me.

That is what really got to me after having a crappy time at the DMV.

So, next we are at the register ordering.
We seem to be ordering with the manager.
The manager who doesn't seem to get how his register works very well.
Oh, and then there is the machine six feet away blending coffee drinks and is so loud you have to stop talking to let it stop cuz nobody can hear you when it's running.

I was not a happy girl.
As a matter of fact I was getting unusually annoyed.

As the rude guy walked by me to leave...and I half thought of flipping him the bird.....it hit me.
Had he just held the door open...he could have held it for my husband so that he could still have ordered before us...I wouldn't have walked in already irked.
At him.

Well, I would still have been bugged by the DMV, but the little act of rudeness just added a little to my mood.

Now, I fully accept responsibility for my own feelings and don't _blame_ the rude guy for my annoyance, but it fully taught me that my sometimes self-involved actions could effect someone else who may also have just been to the DMV or even have way worse life situations.

I'm a true believer in being nice.
I like helping a stranger with the door, picking something up that someone drops....it always leads to a smile (well usually) and it makes me feel good.
And I hope it makes them feel good, too.
I had never thought about or experienced what happens when the random act is rude.

Ack!
So sorry.
This is getting (getting?  gotten!) way too long.

Bottom line here is that just as a random act of kindness gets passed on, so can a random act of rudeness.
And either one can get passed on with differing effects.

Well, I just wanted to share this thing from today.
Sometimes it's the opposite lesson that has the true impact and proves the point.

And hey, rude guy.
I forgive you and thank you for teaching me a valuable lesson.


6 comments:

  1. I've seen the commercial you're talking about. I always wonder when someone is really rude, did that guy's dog just die or did he just find out his wife had cancer? Don't get me wrong I get mad, but I think unhappy people spread more unhappiness. When I'm driving I frequently have my kids with me, so I try to smile and wave when someone cuts me off instead of something worse. My kids used to ask me, mommy why are you waving at that person? I would tell them, mommy just made a new friend. They are old enough now to realize what's going on and it's a good laugh for all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shannon!
    You are so right about the motives of people that do rude things. And for the majority of the time I give them the benefit of the doubt.

    I think what made this guy particularly frustrating for me was that he was happy. He had a grin on his face when he went in the door and he was mainly smiling in the restaurant. Grumpy and rude I get. Happy and rude just totally surprised me!!! :)

    I love that you wave at people who cut you off!!! That's awesome!!! I know your kiddos are learning a good life lesson from that!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm laughing at Shannon's comment. I was ashamed of myself, because someone was a huge jerk and cut me off in traffic. (Totally on purpose too) I held my tongue. After a few moments went by without me responding to the guy, my then 5 year old said "Was he a Dumb-Ass, mom...?" (oh the shame.)

    I absolutely know which commercial you're referring to, and the point you make about how our actions can make (or help to break) someone's day.

    Good deal on the camping though! Where are you going? We camp all the time and love it. There is even a BlogFrog Camping Community you can check in with for ideas. It's through KOA. (There is a button on the sidebar of my blog, if you're interested.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL!!! Vivienne, you are so funny!!!!!! And so is Grant, actually!!! :)

    You know, I almost emailed you about our camping trip. I've read your camping posts with great interest and was curious if you know any easy-ish games we might be able to take there for the birthday party. :) But I think we'll be okay. We are bringing some favorite board games and there's a pool there and mini golf.

    Oh, and we are camping with my family at a place they are members. It's called Silent Valley over near or in Banning. Hot much?? lol!!!

    Thank you for the group recommendation. I'm going to go check it out now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Have fun camping!!! Hopefully it will make up for the yucky day.
    M.L.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hope the camping is great! We used to camp when we lived in SoCal, but somehow living in small-town Wisconsin we no longer feel the need to get away from it all. :)

    It's so hard to return good for evil to rude people, isn't it? And if you add PMS to the mix it's almost impossible. (As in, my hormones are RAGING and EVERY LITTLE THING drives me CRAZY right now!) I do like to hold doors for people too. Perhaps the guy just wasn't thinking.

    ReplyDelete