As much as we might sometimes like to just hibernate in a cave, especially this time of year, most of us don’t have that option.
Living as part of a society requires the ability to work well with others, whether that is at work, in the grocery story, the church parking lot, or on the drive to and from work. We have a basic expectation that everyone follows the rules.
But what happens when things seem to fall apart? The driver next to you cuts you off? The shopper beside you throws their single item on the checkout counter just as you approach with a cart full of groceries?
Our initial reaction might be to give back exactly what we received. And while that might give you a fleeting moment of satisfaction, deep down, you’ll be disappointed with yourself and worse, you might possibly need that very person sometime in the future without even realizing it.
There was a story of a family heading to Disney World. Do you remember that one? They were on their way and got cut off just as they approached the entrance? The driver pounded on his horn, and flashed a hand gesture universally known to be rude and crude. Later that week it turns out the man who cut him off was the hiring manager for the job he applied for. As you may have guessed, he didn’t get the job.
In polite society, we learn to control our tempers, and perhaps even give the benefit of the doubt to people who might be rude to us. Why? Because our entire world revolves around relationships, human contact, and the reaction of the actions around us. Every interaction we have with another human can be gifted or flawed by a reaction. Many people are having trouble finding work today. Many people believe it is effected by who your know, or who can get you infront of a hiring manager.
The use of basic manners makes everyone’s life easier. But the deeper issue is the development of relationships. With all the computer systems and technologies in todays world it is hard to form face to face relationships. Many people perfer to text, rather than call, and call rather than be face to face. Many customer service calls are robot based, most people indicate that they would much rather talk to a human being. Yet, when in a resturant, interview or coffee shop no one will make eye contact and will hide behind their technology. This makes alot of people uncomfortable when they have to be face to face.
The next time you have the inclination to just blow your top, remember that everyone is a human being, everyone struggles with different tasks and might need your compassion. You never know what anyone is going through, so being kind is always the better option.
Always remember they could be that hiring manager who will remember your behavior in the Disney World parking lot.