Updated: May 14, 2020
Or That Day, I Cried at the Grocery Store.
I once taught grade 3, and, it was there I learned everything I need to know about kind communication. In the classroom, I hung a sign that said:
'Think before you speak '...
T = is it true?
H = is it helpful?
I = is it inspiring?
N = is it necessary?
K = is it kind?
It's an excellent little check-in. A constant reminder of what we are showing the world—a note on how to communicate love.
A few weeks back, I was on our weekly mission to get groceries (it feels so much like a 'mission' right now). I witnessed some other shoppers getting short-tempered with each other. It was over their standing distance; there was yelling. It soon fizzled but standing there at the check-out, I could feel tears running down my cheeks on to my mask.
It was a realization of how loaded this time really is and how emotionally fragile I was from the pressure. The pressure of the daily Do's and the Dont's, the scary headlines. The stress. The uncertainty.
So if I am feeling this way, I'm sure others are as well. Because after all, we are in this together. And we are all human. My moment in the grocery store is an example of the importance of being mindful in the way we are acting toward others. Especially if they are having their own 'moment' (so to speak).
Processing in the moment like that is hard. At the moment of confrontation,there are a whirlwind of emotions and protective chemicals released into our bodies, even if the threat is minor. Like someone stealing your parking spot, or eclipsing your personal space in the grocery store. This is why I think my Grade 3 still holds - at any age. Merely reading or reciting it, centres me. It keeps me present enough to keep cool, collected and only contribute positively to the environment around me.
As best I can.
Nobody is perfect.
We are allowed our feelings, but it's never a good idea to act or speak out of them. Allow yourself time to process your emotions and then respond. Ask questions to understand before you assume you have it nailed. Error on the side of kindness by assuming the best of others.
It's in the little thing's friends.
It's much more than just what you think; it's what you say, and it's also what you do.