Recently, I have written about my desire to be a part of something that is joyful and kind to others. Sharing my thoughts of wanting to spread kindness, listening to the whisper that tries to guide me and being aware to consider what others are going through before I react....not to pass judgement.
All these things, I try and incorporate into my daily Life. Unfortunately, it's not always easy. I have moments and days when the best of intention to go about my day with positive and generous thoughts, falls to the way side. I can be cranky and negative. It's not that I don't still believe in my basic foundation of kindness, compassion and feeding my soul to be able to live genuinely...I completely do...it's just not possible to be that way all the time. Believe me, I have learned the hard way that the stress and anxiety that come along with trying to be so, is unhealthy both physically and mentally.
An example of a moment that I was caught off guard, and did not react positively was called to my attention last week at work.
An older patron (I work in a library) came over and asked if he could speak to me. He proceeded to tell me he had been in the previous week, speaking with a friend. The friend began using inappropriate language, rather loudly. This gentlemen continued to tell me that he noticed me look over and give them a not so nice look. I actually remembered the incident as he retold me the story. What this patron wanted to explain to me was that his friend was recovering from surgery and extremely frustrated with his limitations in the recovery and that his wife of 45 years had suddenly passed away weeks prior. His friend was hurting and glad to run into someone he could talk to. He was feeling so alone.
Of course I felt terrible for giving them "the look", which I know was a knee jerk reaction on my part. I had responded without considering various situations, which I generally try to do. I could have delivered my message of "please watch your language" in a better way. Thing is at the time, I was feeling protective of our little patrons that had just come out of story time.....I had just reacted without thinking.
I appreciated him taking the time to explain this to me. It served as a reminder to think and take a breath before responding. There can be a vast difference between "responding" and "reacting" and the answer comes from within....generally in a split second.
We can always use a "kinda reminda".....and I thanked the patron for doing just that.