Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Paying it Forward

While circling my local Target parking lot the other day searching for a parking spot. I saw someone leaving right at the end of the aisle (is that even the right word?) and waited patiently with my turn signal on so that I could pull in once they left.

The person leaving backed out and as I was pulling up to park someone swooped in & parked there. I was outraged. Furious. Lucky for her there was another car leaving a little further up the aisle. But seriously, I was ready to roll down my window & let her have it.

The she stepped out of the car & threw her hands up & and shrugged.

I think I may have seen red and white dots. Which also could have been the Target sign looming ahead of me. Either way, I was hot!

I did what any other normal female on a mission to get in, get her lunch & get out would do. I steamed about it. I ended up walking in behind the girl and visualizing tripping her on the way in.

I thought about how ugly people get at the holidays. Cutting lines, stealing parking spots, being rude, being impatient, not sharing a kind word.

Then I slowed down and asked myself this question.

If I hate how people act am I any better by getting mad about someone taking my space. Sure, it's annoying, but in the grand scheme, how important is it really? Would I have found another space? Indeed, and I did.

Might I have had to walk a little further to go inside? Sure, but would it kill me?

I thought back to Whitney's post on Good Will Grace and realized that this was a small way I could pay it forward. Instead of telling this girl to "have a nice day" (in the most un-nice way) I could let it go & move on.

When a woman cut in line the other day, I graciously stepped aside.

When an older woman takes longer to unload her groceries than Moses did parting the Red Sea, I smile at her & offer to help.

Am I paying it forward in the way that Whitney wrote about? Maybe not.

Am I paying it forward in my own way. Most definitely.

So my question to you, how are you paying it forward? Think about this question this holiday season the next time you start to get irritated with how self-centered people can be.

18 comments:

Lexilooo said...

This is a really nice post. Things like this happen more often than they should, and I try not to let them get to me, though, of course, it can be difficult sometimes!

Deelsu said...

Good post for me. This is something I struggle with.

Ashley @ KiwisandCocktails said...

Great post!!
Is it bad that I just try my hardest to avoid all malls and busy stores this time of year?
I usually get VERY VERY irritated at the grocery stores. The other day I dropped something at the store because I thought I would just grab a few things and did not need a basket or carriage. Well, my hands were over flowing, my recyclable bag was already full...and I dropped something. A nice lady picked it up for me and said something like "some days nothing seems to go right" I looked up and she was smiling. I ended up talking to her while we both waited in line for what seemed like FOREVER to check out! Her sweetness and patience wore off on me and I walked out of the store with an extra bounce in my step, A wider smile and I even helped someone open their car door in the parking lot because THEIR hands were full.
I am really really trying to be nice and sweet instead of letting the crowds get to me this holiday season!

Katie said...

First of all--I would have been mad too..then beat myself up over getting mad, lol. However--people DO get ugly at the holidays and I HATE THAT! I listen to christmas music about the old days and shopping in the town and how "happy" everyone seems--not smacking eachother down over a tickle-me-elmo. Ahh..life was so much simpler.

But, all in all--great post. I often get people who see I have 1 thing in line and let me get in front of them. I think that is SO kind and I need to remember that next time I'm standing in line.

;)

Tara Gibson said...

what a great post! I would have had a tough time not saying "have a nice day" to that girl haha But now i will think twice

Molly Lou Gifts said...

This is awesome. YAY for you. It is paying it forward just as Whitney wrote about it.

You are so right that people get ugly during the holidays and I had a little chat with myself yesterday too that my reactive emotions and actions shouldn't be ugly either.

I heart you...great job.

Annie said...

ugh, i'm guilty of not handling these situations the best when people do that kind of stuff. i couldn't imagine doing some of those things myself. i don't get what makes them better in the first place to cut in line, steal a parking spot or just be rude. i do keep my mouth shut but i might give a dirty look ;)
after reading this i am going to try to be better while out christmas shopping this weekend!
great post hun!

teresa-bug said...

When I go to that type of store (especially during this time of year) I have to tell myself that I am not in any hurry and if someone wants to be rude let them, but don't let it ruin my day. Sometimes I have to tell myself that 2, 3 or even 4 times.

Kristin said...

I could definitely put this into action on the road! I get so mad at thoughtless drivers!

Taylor said...

Love this post! Also, who made your blog layout? I love it!

The Pink Chick said...

What a beautiful post! Christmas would be so much merrier if there were more people who thought like you! I am sorry that girl took your parking place (totally rude), but you handled it with such grace.

Brittany Ann said...

Good for you. You're a better person than me.

I'd have given her the thumbs down;)

Jenny DB said...

Wow, I'm impressed. things like that make me want to tear someone a new one. good post though.. i'll think about it:) hehe

Landlocked Mermaid said...

breathe, my love, breathe... xo
I tagged you in a post xoxo

d.a.r. said...

And this is what Christmas is really about!!

Wearing Mascara said...

Such a great post!

I hate how people can be around the holidays too. I wish people could see the REAL meaning of the holiday time - myself included at times.

Thanks for the reminder!

Lil' Woman said...

Great post...but I would have been just as heated. : )

prashant said...

it can be difficult sometimes!

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