Saturday, April 07, 2012

He just needs love...

When I am out and about and I meet people I often hear the quote in my head, "... you may be entertaining angels unaware." We don't know who we are chatting with when we're kind to a store clerk. We don't know their story, their history, their talents, or their concerns. No one is ever defined by their role or station in life. That is too limiting! There is so much more to any given person. I had a wonderful experience of this the other day at Home Depot...

I had gone to get a simple light kit. A lamp broke and I had to rewire it. I figured it couldn't be that hard. I may have an EE degree but I never learned to wire anything in college! So off to the store I went. A gentleman working in the plumbing department asked me if I needed help. "Yes, but its with electrical," I replied. "So what! I can help you," Dave responded in a great Boston accent. He trotted over half the store with me to find the light kits and told me he'd wire it up for me himself, since he wasn't busy and I'd brought the lamp along! What a gift!

While he was working on my lamp, another contractor interrupted us to talk about a problem he was having. Dave, the kind associate began to tell this man, "I've seen this. I've been a contractor for 30 years..." The other man interrupted him with a horribly rude, snide remark, "Then what are you doing working at Home Depot?" I couldn't believe it. He looked at me for approval and I simply shook my head, gave him a sad look, turned away, and started praying. It was an unthinkable comment. My reaction made him uncomfortable. He apologized and finished the discussion. When he left, Dave said to me, "Ah, the guy just needed love," and he proceeded to tell me about his volunteer work at Maggies shelter - a place for homeless pregnant women who need help getting job training and getting back on their feet. Angels indeed! This humble soul working at Home Depot in the plumbing aisle was one more enlightened and kind than many I've met who profess to have life all figured out. Its so funny... the angels used to say to me, "Ann your work is no more or less holy than a plumber who is doing what he loves." So true.

Later in the week the shoe was on the other foot. I attempted to help someone who yelled at me! A scene was unfolding in the Costco parking lot as I put my groceries in my car. An impatient man gunned his car and nearly hit another one pulling out. He completely ignored yet another car waiting for the space. He was starting to yell at both the car pulling out and the man waiting. It wasn't looking pretty, so I finished packing my car, walked over, and started directing traffic!

I asked the angry man to back up so the car could pull out and explained that the other man had been waiting for the spot. Furthermore, I told him I'd pull out right after and he could have my spot. He responded by yelling at me! Out of my mouth came words that were clearly not from my personality but rather from my soul, "Honey, this is not worth all the upset. Back up, let this guy out, and that one in and then you can have my spot. Its not worth the trouble. You'll have a spot in 60 seconds." The words came out with such authority and love that the guy backed up without a word. I pulled out. He got my spot and all was well. His poor wife looked like she wanted to crawl under the dash.

This man was just defensive. He felt foolish that he had almost hit another car and so he took out his upset at himself on the rest of us. It wasn't about me, and I didn't have to react. In fact I felt good having diffused the situation. In the words of the angels, and the guy from Home Depot, "Ah this guy just needed a little love!" Try it next time someone is acting crazy. Its not about you. Either walk away or be firm and kind. Don't react to their energy. Stay in your own. Its a much happier way to live!