When did ‘Miserable’ Become Acceptable?

So the other day, after being up all night long, I took my sick kids to the local walk-in clinic. I was exhausted, and the kids were miserable, so I may have been a little more sensitive to the unacceptable behaviour of those around me. We pulled up to the clinic, and I rushed the kids out of the car, hoping that we would be one of the first people to sign in. As I hurried them down the store aisle to reach the clinic, a middle aged man stormed passed us and practically knocked my daughter over with the intent to get in line a split second before us. Seriously? Don’t worry you selfish asshole, my kids don’t mind waiting an extra twenty minutes so you can go in front of us. Clearly your needs are more important. And don’t worry, since there are about twenty people in front of you anyways, enjoy the wait.. while I take my feverish children to the next clinic.

As I was leaving clinic, I saw another mom getting her kids out of the car. I had to assume that since it was a school day, she was also going to the clinic. So I stopped. I asked her if she was going to the clinic. I informed her of the wait and I offered her some friendly advice about some of the other clinics in the area. I specifically told her which one we were going to next because in the past I had short wait times. I stopped to help someone, even though it meant taking a few minutes…. instead of storming past someone in need to get ahead.

When I arrived at the next clinic I was overjoyed to see that there were only a few people in the waiting room. I got the kids out and went and waited at the window. I didn’t tap on the glass, or ask how long it would be. I simply waited patiently. And when the woman behind the counter finally came over, I was very pleasant despite feeling a bit rattled by the chaos of the morning. Apparently ‘pleasant’ just isn’t on some people’s dockets. First off, I’m sorry that you had to create charts for my kids who had never been there before. And let me apologize further for inconveniencing you with the fact that I inquired about the giant tv on the wall that was obviously not meant to be watched by anyone… especially little kids that were impatient and getting antsy. This poor woman must have had one hell of a morning, and clearly had no problem letting all of us know that she had no interest in being kind to anyone. That’s okay, because that mom from the first clinic I went to showed up moments later… and forced her to fill out three more brand new charts.

Later that day, despite being exhausted, I made a quick trip out to do a bit of last minute shopping. I didn’t want to be out at the busy mall with last minute holiday shoppers, but it was just something that I had to do. Nonetheless, I carried on and held doors open for people and made casual chit chat with cashiers when I checked out. That’s just what I consider to be common courtesy. However, I am shocked at the number of doors that were slammed in my face, how many people were pushing and shoving and of course disillusioned by the road rage that goes on in a parking lot during the holidays.

When did being ‘miserable’ become acceptable? I’m not saying that I am pleasant all the time, but I mean come on. Have we become so self absorbed that we just can’t see that everyone has bad days. We all get tired. Many of us are consumed with stress. There are endless amounts of worries going through our heads. But are all those good enough reasons to treat others poorly? It’s ridiculous. You could argue that me being nice and kind to others is a bit fake, since I really was having a less than perfect day. But honestly, if we wait for the perfect days to be positive and treat others well, I’m afraid we may end up teaching our children a terrible lesson. Treat others well… when you aren’t too consumed with your own problems. Be friendly and positive… when you are done complaining about the challenges put in your way. This is for all the moms out there who are determined to set a good example for their children… while they wait endless hours at the clinic… stand in crowded lines during the holidays… and try to compete for parking spots with their oversized minivans. Keep up the good work… it will pay off when you proudly watch your children go out of their way to help others.

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