People never cease to amaze me. They can be surprisingly sweet, or not. I keep reminding myself how boring life would be if we were all alike. How robotic life would be if we all thought the same way. What if we each interpreted life exactly the same?
People can be so harsh, so judgmental, so self-righteous. Social media is an interesting place to ‘people watch’. People can hide behind the anonymity a computer offers. They say things they might never say in a face-to-face conversation. I stay on social media, because so many people that are no longer in my town, people from all parts of my life are there. I check in less frequently since I began paying attention to my blog. That is a good thing.
To be really blunt, totally honest, I am a bit tired of people. I saw many people every day at worm this summer. They come in off the road, tired, hungry and ready to make sure I know about it. Zipping my lips, keeping a smile on my face can be challenging then. After a long summer of people, I am happy for the break.
They still surprise me. There was a family with two really cute little boys. The boys were so polite. One of them was diabetic. He and I talked a bit about that. He is type 1 and I am type 2. We talked a bit about how it is a lifetime ‘thing’. It doesn’t go away like a cold. I think he was surprised to find an adult that ‘got it’.
I went to a yarn shop today. This shop has cards. You make a purchase-get a stamp and fill the card. When the card is filled you get a discount on your next purchase. I found I had two cards, and I wanted to combine them. It was easier for me to keep track that way. I had been in the shop a couple of times in the last couple of weeks. I had purchased 8 skeins of yarn and a set of knitting needles in that time. I was told to keep both cards-because those cards cost money. She couldn’t re-use it and it cost her money. I was getting more and more unhappy about this interchange. It is a ‘business card’. If it cost more than a dime, I would have been shocked. I had spent around $50 in the shop in the last couple of weeks, and combining these cards was going to be a problem? I was stunned. Finally she decided, with encouragement from her employee, to let me do that. I left there very unhappy. It was a good reminder to me to treat my guests with respect. To do whatever I can to help them out. It also made me think twice about returning to that store. It is locally owned, and I don’t shop there real often, but I do go in there for certain things. Or at least I used to. Not sure when I will go back in.
How often do we open our mouths before we truly thing about what we are going to say? How often do we think about what the person we are speaking to will hear? I remember a saying that I learned in high school – “I know you believe you understand what you think I said. I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
There is so much truth in that saying, and how often do we stop to realize that what we say and what others hear us say are often two different things. Makes me want to speak less, and listen more carefully.
A funny story about that quote. I learned it in 1970 or 1971. I remember making posters of it and sneaking them up on the hall bulletin boards at my high school. I googled the saying to make sure I remembered it correctly. Evidently, there are those who attributed this saying to Robert Greenspan in 2009. I had to laugh at that. I have ‘known’ that saying for 46 years! Greenspan quoted it, but he did not originate it. Richard Nixon quoted it also, but I don’t think he originated it either. It sounds very much like a saying I would have memorized from a poster in a head shop.
Life would be boring if we were all alike, but I wish we understood each other better. Life would be more peaceful if we did.