Yesterday felt like a bit of a kindness fail.
Thankfully it wasn’t one of my ugly days where I snapped at family members and engaged in meaningless snits (although sadly, as I take inventory … such happens way too often).
It just felt like a bit of a fail because I didn’t do anything extraordinary or out of my comfort zone. It is still frigid outside, but no soup for the homeless yesterday. Instead, Mike and I spent the day updating me to a smart phone and an iPad.
Not sure that I feel so smart after what looked like a one hour project, turned into nearly five hours. It felt like a waste of time as we hunted down the best deal and wandered back and forth between two stores to sort out a huge discrepancy in prices.
I feel a little guilty when I spend so much time on me … especially sitting here with two pieces of technology staring at me that I barely know how to use while I am very aware that six blocks away there are people sleeping on the ice cold sidewalks of the abandoned Hagen’s store.
“Do your life well. Engage with those who are in front of you at the moment … and that will be enough.”
I’m not sure where I originally heard this, but these words are running loudly through my head right now.
Did I do yesterday well when it came to being a kinder person?
“Thanks for being so patient,” the AT&T salesman told us.
I know salespeople are trained to say that to diffuse any built-up frustration, but Mike and I really had been patient. That’s actually a big deal for us.
I remember watching an episode of Candid Camera several years ago, and one of our girls said, “I hope you and Dad never get on one of those shows, because you’d likely get mad at being tricked. That would be so embarrassing.”
That hard, bare truth has always haunted me a bit. We have fallen into the trap over the years of learning that if you get pushy or seem upset, sometimes salespeople will give you a better deal. We’re the kind of people who, if told something, expect people to give it to us, and sadly can get upset instead of being patiently kind.
I think this happens to me and others when we’re afraid of being taken advantage of.
Yesterday, I trusted. I took time to think through what I wanted to purchase … I asked for patience and I gave patience. When all is said and done, I think the sales people will remember Mike and me as patient and kind people and won’t run when they see us coming through the door again. Maybe this will open a door in the future to the hearts of people who need to know they are loved just as much as the person living on the street needs to know it.
So … maybe yesterday wasn’t a kindness fail after all.
This is year – a year of seeking kindness – is going to be interesting …