Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Going Nice

I am fresh out  of "profound thinking"---as if.  As if I ever had any profound thoughts.  But, for those of you who know me, I know I live that ad nauseum sense of making meaning out of ordinary events.  "What does this mean? or What is our lesson here?"  I even make my own self sick with delving deep.  Sometimes clam chowder is just clam chowder.  I can't think of when that might be, but lots of you tell me that it's true.
Which leads me to being polite.....or more directly, "Is it ever ok to be rude?"  When?  I taught in a school system whose motto for years was to be "Firm, Friendly and Fair."  Those guidelines, in tandem, work pretty well.  But rude? Almost never.
Taylor and I just returned from a week in New York City.  We don't do the Central Park carriage rides or have lunch at The Plaza.  We did take in the zoo and scooted along the Hudson River bike path for miles.  Neither  of that challenged our need to be polite/rude.  I had to wrangle with a couple of city bus drivers who wanted to refuse Taylor's scooter on their bus, but I simply said, "It's either this or his wheel chair.  Pick one."  So it was all good after that brief multiple choice option that left them "duh-less."  I mean, what can they say to that??
When the universe did start messing with me again (and my "what are the lessons here?") was when our flight home was cancelled.  Having already been delayed earlier in this crowded airport, tensions were high and true characters rose to the top.  Simply put, I was appalled and stunned at how some fellow travelers approached and treated the airline employees.  OK, it was true that we had no wedding to attend, no graduation to get to, no doctor's appointment to make---so we were not behind that deadline eight-ball.  But still, waiting with Taylor in an airport is not right up there with my favorite things to do in life.  But it gave me another opportunity for a "practice test"---practice what I say I believe---and see if meditation is paying off.
 I watched and wondered, "Do I act like that?  Am I like that?" Gosh, I don't want to be like those people; is there ever a time to emotionally eviscerate an airport agent?
My vote is NO.
As my stomach tightened and my OCD/need for order/planning was turned upside down, I observed Taylor being calm, patient and not having that panic most of us get when we would kill to be at the head of the line.  Our sense(s) of entitlement kick in and we are aggravated that we've been inconvenienced.  Don't we? I am really just having this conversation with myself because it washed over me how attached I am to outcomes and having things work out exactly as I have them planned in my head.  But as Taylor tugged on my sleeve, responding  with, "Go nice" to the angry folks around him, I had to stop and re-think how I behave when a wheel falls off in my life.  I hate wheels to fall off---just so you know.
Taylor does not know the concept "Firm, Friendly, Fair." 
He does know, "Go nice."
He lives Go Nice.
Gosh, we all have so much to learn.
I mean.....I do.