Tuesday, February 5, 2013


What do you do when you see rudeness? Do you say something to the person? Do you look down and act like you didn't see it? Do you apologize to the victim? Most of the time, I just look down and don't say anything. Color me embarrassed.

Monday morning I was at the gym by 5:00 AM ready to work out. At my gym, you enter your phone number into a key pad, and scan your finger.  Mr. Man in line in front of me entered the number twice, and as he tried to scan his finger, it did not work. Rather than do it a third time, Mr. Man looked at the girl and said "this is broken." The girl  tried to reset the program for him, and asked him to try again. He looked at her, and in a really harsh voice said "I'm not entering my number again. You sign me in." The young girl behind the counter looked a little taken aback by Mr. Man. She asked for his licence and he let out the biggest sigh, then Mr. Man went into a verbal rant underneath his breath. You could hear the words "dumb, stupid, f'ing ridiculous."

Mr. Man was not happy to say the least. The young girl behind the counter got him signed in, and he stormed off to light weights.

As I stepped up to the counter, I looked at the girl and she was red in the face, and I could tell she was really flustered. I simply signed in, and went on my way.

I really wish I would have said something to her. I should have apologized to her for his behavior and given her a hug. I should have said something to Mr. Man about being nice and patient. It took all of an extra 45 seconds for the whole process to take place, but he acted like it was the biggest inconvenience he had ever experienced.

It really made me realize just how spoiled we are as Americans. We are or used to getting what we want when we want it right away. We don't have patience, we are short with others and we so often want to issue judgment towards others while demanding grace and mercy for ourselves.

Ultimately, it is not about being "nicer" to one another. It is about love, respect, and honor for our fellow man. It is about caring for others more than we care for ourselves. It is about spreading something other than hate. Look at us right now, as a people, as a species, we are horrible to each other. We walk into schools, malls, or theaters and massacre each other. We drop bombs that kill hundreds of people at a time. We torture, maim, and humiliate each other.

Have we lost respect for each other? We no longer recognize the dignity in work, the dignity in respect. It seems as if we no longer recognize the value in humans. We treat each other like they are machines. We love computers and machinery b/c of what it can do for us, what we can pull out of it, how much it can accomplish for us. Have we become so desensitized to one another that we are now users rather than givers?

How often do you see that happen around you? How often do you act like that? How often do you treat others like that?

Is it too late for us? Do you think we can change,or is it too late? Are we too far gone?

I hope not pray not.

The remainder of this week is going to be different for me. I need to stand up for love and respect. I need to show everyone around me that it is not too late. My vow is to live intentionally for the rest of this week. I vow to stop blowing others off, to stop making others the victims of my rage, the recipient of my annoyance. I vow to change.


lesley: the dream tree said...

you are exactly right! what have we become?? unfortunately at times my lack of patience causes me to be rude and I hate that I'm that way. however, when examples like this happen or someone waiting on me is rude, I always call them out on it.

Rochelle said...

Amen sister! We should really try to be nicer to each other. You never know what goes on in peoples' lives and I would rather smile at someone than be mean and cause them more heartache.

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

Love this post! When I worked in retail, this happened quite a lot. Some of the times strangers would stick up for me and it always made me feel better.

~Carla~ said...

I agree 100%!!! I will willingly admit that I have a big mouth, when I see someone treating someone badly I always pipe up... Once even had a man threaten me because of it, but I didn't regret it for one second. I believe we have to stand up for those who can't or won't stand up for themselves! This is deep rooted from my childhood I'm sure... :/

Brooke said...

very tough vow!

i composed a very long comment, but i think i'll just make it my own blog post today. thanks for the inspiration!!!

Denise said...

i don't get it - nor do I see any reason for it. I just do my best not to be rude myself. thankfully, not to many are rude to me at my fitness center :)

Jeano said...

That's so terrible!! I ALWAYS make an effort to be nice to people at the grocery store, gym, wherever. I've worked in positions like that and I know how incredibly rude people can be so try to be an easy customer. When I encounter rudeness and don't have to worry about being fired, I usually respond with extreme sarcasm. But if I'm working and it's aimed at me, I kill 'em with kindness... Sometimes that works best!

Renee said...

I hate rude people b/c I worked many places where I was simply doing my job and got treated horrible by customers so I would never be rude and for something so insignficant such as what you mentioned is no reason to be that mean and obnoxious! Mistakes happen...especially when using technology...seems like computers make more mistakes and take more time than humans to do something easy sometimes...ugh! Anyways, I probably would have just said something to myself but loud enough for him to hear it, like, wow, he is such a jerk throwing a tantrum for something stupid, but then again I often think that maybe he was just taking his anger out on her when the anger didn't even come from that incident, but something that happened earlier so I try to remind myself that those customers were probably not really mad at me, maybe they had a hard day....not that that makes it ok to be disrespectful to others, but some people just don't know how to deal with their anger and I believe that's a hard thing to change for some people...I would have at least told the girl that I am sorry that happened to you and try to cheer her up and make her forget about that loser. :)