Discovering the Relevance of Words
Growing up I was surrounded by great people.
I was rarely able to escape being taught something.
If it take a village, I had a metropolis.
I consider myself lucky, and there are way too many people to thank to even begin mentioning.
On a particular night while in high school, I was taken to a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. In itself, this was an amazing experience that would have a great impact on my life, however, the night’s learning was not over with the performance.
After the show we went out to dinner. Myself, a girl my age, and the adult (friend, mentor, chaperon?) who arranged the trip and took us were “victim” to horrible service at a small restaurant. I don’t remember any specifics other than our server was forgetful, absent, and, at times, short tempered or snippy. I suggested leaving him a penny tip to illustrate our displeasure.
It was at that point that Robin taught me a lesson that would shape a lot of my future opinions.
He explained that if we chose to tip poorly or not tip at all the only possible outcome would be to put this server in an even worse mood than he was already in. He posited that, as a result, he was more likely to have a negative interaction with the next group of people he would serve, and, possibly, put them into a negative mood. Imagine if that group of people then left the restaurant feeling worse than they had when they had entered. What had we done to help the situation? What had we done to worsen the situation?
He asked me if our server seemed happy with his behavior. If he appeared to be in a good mood, yet chose to treat us poorly. Was he intentionally wronging us?
My answer, the truth, was no, he did not, was not.
But if we intentionally left a “middle finger” for a tip, we were intentionally wronging him.
And, as if my mind wasn’t already blown from a new, yet simple perspective I had not considered, he went on.
Was it possible that something had happened to put him into a bad mood? Is it possible for bad moods to improve?
How would you feel if you were in a bad mood and somebody did something nice for you. Is it possible it would help?
When we left the table, the tip was equal to the bill.
I don’t know how the server treated his next table. I don’t know how the rest of his evening went. I don’t even remember the name of the restaurant. I do remember the perspective I gained that day.
You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution so what’s your contribution to life?
(Jurassic Five, Contribution)
The internet is full of lists of how to annoy people, how to drive people crazy, funny antisocial tricks to play, pranks, jokes, and trollage. Why not a list of ways you can help? Little momentary victories. Pay it forwards…
At the Starbucks drive through (I refuse to misspell this word for convenience) the other morning the car in front of me bought my coffee. I paid for the next two. I paid three times as much to do that than I would have buying my own Grade Pike’s, but I felt one hundred times better. My days was a ten.
How can you, how can we, make the world a better place? What are the baby steps we can take today?