When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two Men

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.  I hadn't expected someone who really did not wait long at all to be so cranky over my desire to help another.  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. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, truly is not the way He desires us to be.
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.
Remember that it takes at least 14 days to break a habit. Just in case you think you can't change your small part of the world, think of the difference a flashlight makes in the darkness; think of the difference an EMT can make on that ambulance run to the hospital; think of the difference the good samaritan can make when you are stuck on the highway with screaming babies and a flat tire; And think of the difference a kind word can make when you are hurting inside.
It is possible to change our own little corner of the world. Keep on trying. You can do it!

This is one of my favorite sayings.  I believe it was actually an advertisement for GE lightbulbs, but I could be wrong.  I copied it from a text book and have had it for years.  I love the message and thought that I would share it with you as this season starts and we each are trying to do our best.  Remember that you can make a difference.
Brighten Your Corner

Have you noticed the great difference
between the people you meet?
Some are as sunshiny as a
handful of forget-me-nots.
Others come on like frozen mackerel.
A cheery, comforting nurse
can help make a hospital stay bearable.
An upbeat secretary
makes visitors glad they came to see you.
Every corner of the world
has its clouds, gripes, complainers, and pains in the neck-
because many people have yet to learn
that honey works better than vinegar.
You're in control of your small corner of the world.
Brighten it...You can.


  1. I really appreciate your great attitude! We really do have control over ourselves and how we react and treat others. Thanks for your post today.

    I wrote a post about our mailman on my blog today and then came over here and read yours :)

    Happy Holidays!

  2. That picture of the girl in Jesus' arms made me smile today!

  3. Be the change you are trying to create...that is one of my all-time favorite quotes.

    Also, I have a huge pet peeve...my only pet peeve is people at the post office who are rude and won't help idiots like me figure out how to mail stuff. Now I'll add another one...people in line who won't be patient and wait for others to get the service they need!

    Good for you for being such a kind and compassionate and long-suffering person and for seeing a need and filling it and not brushing someone off!

  4. Well, my dear, you HAVE changed part of MY world. We are members of the giraffe tribe, that is how we met, and you have faithfully left encouraging comments on my blog daily. Thank you so much for that. It means a LOT.

  5. Thank you to all of you. I appreciate all that you have said.
    Lesa, I read your post. It was great as usual.
    Renee Ann, I am so glad you like that picture, it is one of my very favorites.
    Jocelyn, I love that quote also and I am sorry if any of our employees have been rude or unkind. I suppose that we sometimes have bad days too, but that does not excuse the behavior.
    Kerri, I am glad that you like my post, and I obviously like your blog!
    Thank you again for all your comments.

  6. I agree that we need to take the time to reach out in kindness to others. It is interesting how
    the two men behaved in such opposite manners.

    I benefit greatly from others when they take a moment to be kind to me. Likewise I try to do the same.

  7. Even small simple acts of kindness can make an enormous impact on others' lives. Thanks for sharing this experience and the insight gleaned from it.

  8. Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Kindness really does go a mile.

  9. Good for you!

    I always make up a really awful story in my head about the kind of day people must be having if they're so snappy with a stranger. Seriously. They've got to be having a really bad day.