I have been thinking a lot about this saying, this sentiment, these words lately. Recent times have people becoming more and more self involved. This is a good thing, in that we all need to be self aware to take proper care of ourselves. But also I have seen people prejudging, assuming and over reacting.
Why is it so hard to see the good in people? In my job as a hospital telephone operator I have heard the best of people, and the worst as well. I don’t know why many callers immediately get irate when they don’t get what they want. Many times it could be because they are under stress, calling to inquire about a sick loved one (and with no visitors allowed, I get that). But just as many times their first reaction is to be rude and obnoxious – as if I am not giving them their information because I just don’t want to. Why can’t they understand that there are rules that need to be followed?
I have overheard conversations and witnessed women get upset whenever they get called “honey” or “sweetheart.” There is a big difference if some burly individual uses those terms in a derogatory way. But why do these women get so upset when a kindly senior citizen says it to them? Is it so hard to believe that people of that age group probably don’t mean it bad – they mean it in a good, endearing way? When anyone is sweet or kind, I find it very difficult to think of them in a bad way.
Comments about God can get some people very angry as well. I understand that not all people believe in God, and not all people believe the same way. But if a nice person says God Bless You, or Have a Blessed Day, and you know for a fact that they are a religious individual – why get upset? Why can’t they consider the source and realize it was meant in a good way and not in a bad way? I guess I just don’t understand why people can’t see the good in others.
It costs nothing to be nice. Nothing at all, and yet is a concept foreign to so many people. At the grocery store recently, the cashier was telling a story to the customers in front of us of how earlier that day other customers had been terribly rude to her. When it was our turn, I asked about the conversation while she was ringing up our order. It turns out she has cancer, and the rude comments these customers had said to her were very uncalled for. It was horrible. Once they found out that it was cancer that caused the mark on her wrist, they were semi-apologetic, but the damage was done. Why do people have to be so rude to each other? I just don’t get how some of these people were raised. Who told them that if you act like a jerk you’ll get better service? It doesn’t work that way.
I was in a convenience store around Easter time. I asked the clerk how she was, and she said fine, yet she had started to cry. I saw this and asked her why she was upset. She said an old, angry man had come to her register and proceeded to call her very nasty names – all because he was frustrated over being unable to figure out the credit card options on the gas pumps. I felt so bad for her – in her face mask and gloves. She stated that she wished she didn’t have to work, that she didn’t want to put herself at risk due to all the virus concerns, but she had to work. My heart hurt for her. I did my grocery shopping, and on the way home I brought her in an Easter plant. When she saw it, she started crying again – but this time they were happy tears. She was very happy and I was happy I made her that way. All it took to brighten her day was a $5 Easter plant and a smile.
As I have said, I work in a hospital. We have a lot of requirements for staff during these times. Everyone is doing more than their job, rising well above what is needing to be done. The local community has been wonderful to everyone – there have been numerous donations of food and snacks. They also have people standing around clapping as workers enter the building, and there was a parade of first responders who drove by one afternoon. The hallways are plastered with drawings and notes from children and adults alike – praising healthcare workers as heroes. These are all nice, thoughtful gestures. Yet there are people who don’t like this at all. They feel it is patronizing, it is almost insulting – as if they are getting extra pats on their backs for just doing their jobs. Lots of us have talked about this, and I just try to impress on them that it is not the intent of these people to be hurtful – it’s to be helpful, happy and appreciative. I have said that if they just look at their intent, and try to focus on that and not on the fact that they don’t like it – maybe they’d feel better about it, and perhaps even feel thankful that there are people who care and want to show it.
I generally like people. I have enjoyed all of my jobs that had me dealing directly with the public. I only wish that people could be understanding of others and not jump to conclusions. I don’t like seeing people rushing to judgment. I like to look for the good in every situation. I also believe that a smile along with a kind word can go a long, long way. You just have to open your mind. Ease up on preconceived ideas. Keep your sense of humor. Be polite and not rude. It really isn’t that hard to get along with others. We should all try harder, especially now in the world we’re living in…