FROM JUNE 28, 2010
buy cytotec indiaIt’s really about power. Doing what we can to give ourselves the upper hand. No matter the emotional cost or carnage.
I’ve overcome complaining. At least I’ve moved beyond the level I once owned. I owe a very special person for my revival. There are others I owe. But mostly her. And trust me. She suffered in her efforts.
Now don’t get me wrong. Sometimes one has to complain. It is often a sort of act of cleansing. You know. Complain to a good friend. Get things off your chest. And move on. But my complaining had some pretty deep-seated roots. Complaining and expecting the worst was a way of life in my family. Growing up.
It’s true. And all of us in the family know this. This is a secret to no one. Growing up, if it was a nice warm day, it was “too damned hot out.” If it was a cool crisp fall day, it was “too damned cold.” If there was a fun trip to be taken, it was always too far to drive. You understand.
I guess I was weak. And like all of us weak ones, I did what I could to gain the little bit of power I felt I needed to demonstrate my worth. Only through my steadfast complaints did I have and hold the upper hand on things. And the upper hand is so important when your day or week or month or life is tanking, and you need someone to blame. Someone – something – to elevate you to a level that is livable for you. If there is someone else to blame, then surely I am not as low as they are. Right? You get it.
I guess we all measure our worth by the inadequacies of our surroundings. Mostly. Folks like me do. Or I used to. Until my friend set me straight.
When one’s self esteem is lower than a Gulf of Mexico oil flow, complaining, becoming angry, feeling cheated and victimized lift one up to where he imagines his esteem should reside. But that often means the destruction of the esteem of others. Recognizing this is where my friend shines.
buy cytotec online without a prescriptionShe spent months and years trying to talk me into her twisted way of thinking. As it turns out, it took but one trip to the Food Lion to set me straight.
Late one afternoon, we went grocery shopping together. Grocery shopping is an easy generator of complaints. Too many shoppers. Too many folks grabbing all the MVP mac and cheese bargains. Too many folks in front of me in line, paying with coupons and quarters.
I had always been the type of consumer that, no matter how broke, desperate and powerless, I expected to be treated like royalty when I spent the few pennies in my possession. I was the customer. Always right, you know.
So on that late afternoon, my friend and I pushed our cart to the most accessible line. As was usually the case, I unloaded the cart while the check out person rang up our stuff. And, as usual, my friend began bagging. That is the way the woman is. She bags. She helps.
This one day, just as I always do, I said to the check out person, “How are you?” Nothing. No response. Again. “How are you?” Again. Nothing. The young girl didn’t even make eye contact. Here I was, spending money I really couldn’t afford to spend at a business that was providing a job and income for this young woman, and she couldn’t even acknowledge my presence? Meanwhile, my friend was bagging the groceries. Something that Food Lion employees were being paid to do.
Ah ha! So here was my opportunity. Regardless of my lack of money and my overall weak standing in life, I, at that singular point in time, had the opportunity to elevate myself over the snotty little young woman at the Food Lion check out. I boldly instructed my friend to stop bagging.
“Let her do it,” I said. “That’s what they pay her to do.”
I think she stopped. Maybe she didn’t. A noticeable change came over her after I made my grab for power that late afternoon. I didn’t understand it until the ride home.
My argument was clear. I was there spending money I really didn’t want to spend. And. I was the customer. And. I was right in my reaction. My friend’s argument wasn’t as clear. At least it wasn’t as black and white.
“You have no idea what that girl was going through today,” was one thing she said to me on the ride home.
“I don’t give a damn,” I said. “I am the customer. At least acknowledge that I am there to give her money!”
My friend was silent. For quite a while. She uses dramatic pauses that would put the best Broadway actors to shame. Meanwhile, that pause pretty much killed me. But it worked.
“Look,” she finally told me. “That young woman may have had a terrible day. Who knows what is going on her life. And. Maybe she is just a young jerk. The point is you had the opportunity to change things. The power to improve that situation. To look at her and say, ‘Is everything okay?’ or ‘I really love the way you do your hair,’ or anything. You chose to be a jerk. Nothing was accomplished. You could have made that young lady smile somehow. Or you could have tried, at least. You left feeling harmed by her. She and you now feel worse than either of you did when we got there. What was the point of all that?”
My friend pulled an extended Broadway pause for several days after that. But I got it. And I have never forgotten it.
I guess I have complained some and gotten angry a time or two since that late afternoon at the Food Lion. But not without quickly thinking of my dear friend.
Remembering her beautiful heart.
And remembering that, by holding within my own heart the simple understanding and kindness she possesses, I have all the power I need.
buy generic misoprostol no prescriptionWe all do.