Friday, November 13, 2009

Look For Good In Others

Today I've been thinking about how life is a perceptual experience. What I mean by that is that we all see things differently and experience things differently. Any given situation is like a diamond that has many different facets. And whichever way you turn the diamond, or the situation, you see a different facet of it. I think it's because of the snowflake thing I mentioned in a previous post. I believe people are like snowflakes, no two alike. So it makes sense that we would all perceive things differently. There's always two sides to every story.

Here's a couple of examples that I've experienced in my own life. I remember one hot summer day I decided to treat myself to some ice cream before going on to my next job. I went to a place that served the particular kind of ice cream I like. It is "hard serve" ice cream. Back when I was a kid, (now I sound old) there was only one kind of ice cream. And it was hard. Then they came out with "soft serve", which I always felt was nothing more than a thick milkshake. :) Anyway, I particularly like this ice cream because I like to "chew" it. As I sat there in my car in the drive thru window, I saw the girl making what appeared to be a milkshake. I assumed she was making it for someone else. But then she handed it to me and, with a big proud smile on her face, she said "I couldn't get the lid to fit so I whirled your ice cream in the milkshake machine for a minute." Being the bitch that I typically tended to be back then, I first got really annoyed at her stupidy. But I wasn't in the mood for a conflict so I took the ice cream and drove off. While I ate my whirled up ice cream, I thought about the girl. From her perspective, she felt like she was doing a really good job serving me by making sure that lid fit on the cup. From my perspective, I wanted "chewy" ice cream and she made it NOT chewy by whirling it. She was trying to do a good job at her job. She was doing what she believed to be giving me good service. You can't fault her for that. So I had to see good in her where at first I didn't.

Another example was a time when I called in a take out order at an Italian restaurant. I was on my way home from work and just wanted to pop in, pick up my food and go home. But when I got to the restaurant, I was told to have a seat and my order would be up soon. About 20 minutes passed and finally a very matronly, motherly looking Italian woman came out with, again, a big proud smile, and the bag with my food in it. "I waited till you got here", she said, "because I wanted your food to be NICE AND HOT for you!" Again, perspective. Having the food be nice and hot was her priority. Having it be fast was mine. But, like the ice cream girl, she honestly believed she was doing a good job for me. The intention was good. Focus on the good.

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