I live in northeastern Wisconsin, not exactly the enlightenment, one love, open minded capital of the United States. We’re known for cheese heads, factories, and binge drinking. Lessons come daily, sometimes hourly; and positive focus is hard but it is very possible.
What brings on this heavy hearted talk? Today, yesterday now, I was in a big box store grocery shopping. I saw many situations that made me smile, couples laughing together, excited grandmothers in the craft isle, two handicapped people racing on their motor carts; Ok, that one made me laugh.
But the moment that stuck with me, that really struck my heart was in the checkout. I had searched out my favorite cashier and took my place in line. As I know about the psychology used in designing junk food packaging, I try to people watch instead of looking at the candy while I wait my turn. The man with his two daughters in front of me were my subjects, I watched.
My favorite cashier, Sophie, was delightful and bubbly as ever asking the man how his day was after he shoved the two girls along and firmly instructing them to stand there and not to move from that spot. He proceeded to inform Sophie how the two girls could not behave in the store properly, standing in the middle of the isles, not getting out of the way for other shoppers, and just being general space cases. He seemed very drained and upset.
At this point, I felt waves of anger rush over me regarding this man for is insensitivity towards his girls whom were still young and standing there, listening to him speak about them. Resisting the urge to tell him off, I watched Sophie swoop in with her usual calm and cheery demeanor to save the day. She softly comforted the man making his concerns feel valid also adding a hidden complement to the girls making them smile. By the time their short transaction was completed, all were smiling and on their merry way.
I was stunned. Sophie is a light worker and she probably doesn’t even know it, and a hell of a good one I might add! Had she responded how I felt, rudely and insensitive toward the man, he probably would have become more agitated and scolded the girls further in the car on the way home. But no, by being kind and understanding before all parties she set forth one of the best examples I have seen of how to diffuse a seemingly negative situation through kindness and active listening.
Well done Sophie! What a wonderful example she sets for those around her. No wonder I seek her out every time I’m ready to check out of the store. It just goes to show you, lessons are everywhere, even at the check out of a big box store. It’s up to us to find them and see the light in the darkness.
Oh, and next week Sophie promised to bring me some of her favorite recipes! What a joy life is! Namaste!