Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Service with a Smile

Many people in the work force report that jobs requiring an interface with the public can be trying. Customers might be demanding, rude, short-tempered, treat the person serving them as if they were a "thing," and other varieties that infect the space around them with bad vibes. Of course there are nice customers who understand that waiting on other people is an act of service and that the people serving them are not slaves but human beings with real feelings. 

A friend recounted a story of being treated rudely by a supermarket checker and chewing out the employee for her unexceptable behavior on the job. As my friend wheeled her shopping cart out to the car in a huff, the young bagger assisting her explained that the checkout lady was a single mother whose only child had been killed in a motorcycle accident the week before.

One never knows the cause of negative words and deeds, but compassion for the afflicted person is always in order. Maybe that grouch is simply a misanthrope, but even then certain causes and conditions lead him or her to live within an unquiet mind.

As we never know for sure who we are speaking to or what their though patterns may be, the safest and most peaceful way to navigate the world is to hold fast to equanimity. It may be hard at times, but the alternatives are not nearly as attractive.

As an addendum: the above thoughts apply to those of us privileged to live in a civilized society more or less. War zones present different problems to be addressed at another juncture.

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