Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well, I won't let anyone punch me in the face.

I live by my own variation of the golden rule.  And it goes like this, "If you are getting on my nerves this much, then I must really be getting on your nerves."  I never know if it's factual though because most people are not biting at the bit to tell you how much you annoy them.  

But with Christmas around the corner, it seems necessary to think up a game plan.  Because not only will I be bombarded in traffic, the grocery store and McDonald's by loads of people that don't know their good manners from their elbow, it will also happen in the fold of my family and friends too.  Not intentionally of course.  This time of year and all the planning that goes into it just seem to put people on edge and nerves get frayed to the point of breaking.  

So basically, I plan to smile more, say "please" and "thank you" in the sweetest tone I can muster and forgive, forgive, forgive.  When I see someone cut in line in front of me or push me out of the way for something at the store, I will say "Go right ahead".  I might be cursing them internally but it is part of my nature to grumble.  A fault, I know.  But to their face, they will see my best attempt at a humble attitude.  (I'm hoping I might fake it, til I make...)  Because I've realized recently that I am suffering over my limited tolerance to being annoyed.  And frankly, my family suffers because of it too.  

How many times have I been harried, hassled or in a huff and snapped at my kids?  Too many.  How many times have I felt that way and had a stranger give me an encouraging smile?  Not enough.  But those times it did happen, it felt like a soothing balm to my flustered skin.  

Of course, my inherent negativity is telling me that none of those strangers will even take note of my demeanor.  That they will just carry on in their rudeness and "it's all about me" attitude.  But hopefully, it will make me a better example for my kids and show them how to be in the world and not of it.  Cheesy or not, it's what I wish for them.

So here's to smiling til my teeth hurt (because I might be gritting them) and shopping on Black Friday!

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Like George Washington Carver said:

1. Be clean both inside and outside.
2. Neither look up to the rich nor down on the poor.
3. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4. Win without bragging.
5. Always be considerate of women, children and old people.
6. Be too brave to lie.
7. Be too generous to cheat.
8. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.


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