The man came to my counter this morning needing help. He had a gift to send. Something he had lovingly made for someone close to him. It was beautiful and needed extra care in order to ship safely. I found a box that was bigger than his item, helped him pack it, taped it up and sent it on it's way. All with a minimum of fuss. It was easy to serve him. As he left, he stated, "I have never had as good of service as you just gave me. Thank you so much for your time and for caring enough to help me get this done".
The next person in line, (who had waited less than two minutes), said, "Since when did YOU become a packaging store?? That was HIS job to do. You are supposed to MAKE him pack his own packages". I told him that we were a small town and that kindness is something that I care about. He was grudging and rude and I won't say what he said next. Suffice it to say that the second gentleman was angry because he had to wait a couple of minutes for someone else to be helped.
I was completely caught off guard. As I look at this experience, I can't help comparing the the behavior of the two men. I can't help wanting to help the one over the other. However, I also can't help finding the need for the Savior's love in each of our lives.
It is easy enough to be pleasant when someone is pleasant with you. It is much harder to be kind and pleasant when the other person is doing his best to be rude and mean. I am convinced that the Saviour would not wish me to be rude back. As hard as it is to maintain calm and peace, that is what was needed today. It would not have helped the situation for me to become angry and unreasonable. It would have only fueled the fire and escalated the problem.
I am a firm believer in the old saying, "if you want to change your world, change yourself". I don't have the power to change others or make their decisions for them, but I do have the power to make sure that I am behaving appropriately in the situation. I can control how I respond to those who choose to act inappropriately. A big way of changing my own spot in the world is to not allow yourself to react negatively when others act inappropriately. You get to choose how you are going to respond to the outburst. You get to choose whether or not you make a difference.
It is possible to change our own little corner of the world. Keep on trying. You can do it!
Patty Ann is a busy mother, grandmother, and wife. She lives her life in the woods she loves up on the top of a beautiful mountain. She loves music, photography and writing. Most of all she loves her Heavenly Father and enjoys writing about his influence in her life. You can find her on her blog at Pitterle Postings