“How are you this fine day?”
I remember my mother asking a clerk that question, and she received a warm smile by asking. My mom decided she to be nice that day, and people were nice to her.
That’s the Golden Rule, and it works. But I have to remind myself to be kind. I get cynical and judge people for no reason. That flippant attitude isn’t what the world needs, and I’m the one to change.
For example, I swim laps, and I have watched this one lady’s serious face as she enters the pool area for her swim. I’ve judged her looks and made up my mind that she’s the last person I’d ever want to hang out with. I often hope she doesn’t want to share my lane, because she’d probably be a pain.
Today she stood at the end of the pool and asked to share my lane. Without speaking to her, I pointed to the side of the lane I wasn’t using. Great, I thought. She’s here.
Swimming is like meditation, and I let my mind wander while muscle memory carries me along. I also work through a great deal of stupid thinking. A thought popped up: Why do I need to be so negative to that lady? I don’t even know her or what she’s doing with her life.
No long after, we both ended up at the end of the lane at the same time. I asked her if she was ok with being on her side. She said it was fine, and she spoke to me nicely enough, not grumpy like she looks when she comes into the pool area.
I went neutral with her because I reached out. It didn’t take much effort to speak to her, and I don’t really care which side of the lane I swim. I thought about my mother saying, “How are you this fine day?” It didn’t kill me to be nice. I don’t have unnecessary negativity around the lady anymore.
My attitude is a huge game changer. If I make up my mind to be pleasant, things go easier. I don’t have to act like a spoiled child because I don’t’ like someone’s facial expression. Why not make this a great day instead of a selfish one?
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