Just be kind.

I’m not sure where to even begin with this post on being kind.  I know what I’m thinking, but how to get it into words?

As you know, if you’ve been following along, I’ve been in the retail business for 13 years.  I’ve done well, and I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know so many great people who will remain my friends once the store closes.  

I’ve watched their children grow up and it’s been amazing.  A customer once said that walking into Vickie’s was like walking into CHEERS, where everyone knows your name.  It’s been a feel-good place for so many and for that, I will always be proud.

Yesterday, I received a very nasty email from a customer who’s been a thorn in our side for years.  

When she’s in the store, she’s disruptive and rude.  After she left on Saturday, customers were feeling sorry for us for having to put up with her.  Her email goes on about what a horrible person I am, how I’m terrible at retail and sales, etc. and she wishes me luck in the future because I have no skills of my own so I will need it. All in all, pretty brutal.  Obviously, she’s looking for a response from me, which she will not get.  I can see her checking her inbox for a fight because that’s who she is.  

It’s got me thinking though……..

Why, as humans, do we allow others to get under our skin?  Why do we even give a moment’s thought to criticism that is not constructive at all?  Or, on the other side, why do we complain so much?  Is there ever a time to tear someone down?  Should we look in the mirror and examine ourselves before throwing that first stone?

My kids and I were laughing at the email last night.  They were getting a real charge out of the things that were said and I have to admit, I have found myself laughing about it since I need to let it go and focus on something more uplifting.

It got me thinking of all of the times that something great happens and I don’t say anything.  I’m usually pretty good to mention great service, make a phone call to a manager, or take someone aside and tell them what a great job they’ve done – especially in the service industry.  Heaven knows they hear enough complaints in a day!  So, maybe that’s my message today.  The holidays are upon us.  Let’s take an extra minute to be kind and lift people up as we go along. 

Retail workers, restaurant staff, bus drivers, cab drivers, etc are facing busier days with people who are rushed and stressed and possibly not as friendly or forgiving as they would normally be.  Take a second and do good while you’re out and about. 

Smile at someone, hold a door, thank the cashier, and tip your waitress a bit extra.  Do something little to make someone’s day brighter.  In doing so, I guarantee you’ll make your own day brighter as well.

Remember, it costs nothing to be kind. Imagine how different our world would look if we all focused on the good in people?

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