Going to the malls during the holiday season can be a challenge of patience and endurance. Stores seem to stock up on so much merchandise that navigating the racks and stacks can leave us short tempered and exhausted. When we add the blaring Christmas music to the scene pretty soon we can become totally overwhelmed. The once beautiful sounds of holiday carols seem to add a nerve-raking distraction that invades our decision making until we say to ourselves, this is too much! This has often been the case but this weekend was different.
For some untold reason customers seemed to be more polite, more caring in their response and sales people (who deserve a medal just from hanging in there over the next 30 days) even more helpful. I was truly impressed and began counting the positive exchanges I received during a recent four hour shopping experience. When I reached the number eight I had to wonder … what caused this unusual but welcomed change in behavior? Did I have anything to do with it? Was it a reflection of my own mindset? Is this a shade of things to come over the next four weeks? I think it can be if we remember our power to reframe the picture.
Imagine my further surprise when a teenager with music blasting from his ear buds and skate board tucked firmly under his arm stepped in front of me then stopped, apologized and held the door of the department store open for me! As I thanked him a proud smile spread over his face and I thought to myself, this is what the younger generation is all about…they want to be recognized for who they are and want to do the right thing. His behavior served as a gentle reminder that before we make a mistake and superficially judge others we must allow them to rise to the occasion.
Maybe – just maybe – we are subconsciously becoming more aware of the importance of manners and civility as we share our life together on planet Earth. After all, what effects one of us eventually ripples down and effects us all. Energy is like that – whatever we give out we get back double fold. Are we beginning to recognize that our duty to be civil toward others should not depend on knowing or liking them but just because they are a fellow traveler who is simply trying to get a thousand and one things done in a limited amount of time? After all we have not walked a mile in their shoes and have no idea what challenges they are facing.
A statement from a book entitled, ‘Zen Lessons,’ said that speech and action are the pivot points of an ideal people and the basis of governing one’s self. Quite true don’t you think? Civility can move heaven and earth and make a life long impression on others. What we say and do really does say more about us than about others. Simply put, the more positive energy we put out in the Universe the more we get back. It’s like a guaranteed income to your emotional bank account. Each positive transaction you initiate gives you points – like a Rewards card – that you can cash in at a later date.
For the next 30 days let’s make a commitment to practice civility. To thank people for their help, offer a hand to an overburden soul and recognize the importance of respect not only among our family and friends but to those who cross our path quickly and are gone just as quickly. I’ll bet if we kept a running talley of the positive exchanges over this time we will be able to sit back and smile when the year comes to a close and realize that life is about being the change we want to see happen. We will usher in a new year with a renewed sense of faith, positive intention and bright possibilities.
It’s something worth thinking about…
Have a great few days!