AUTHOR: Carolyn Savage | POSTED: August 29, 2013 | COMMENTS: None Yet - Post a Comment
CATEGORIES: Compassion, compassionate parenting, perspective, Resilience,
Do you ever wonder why people are the way they are? What makes them tick? Why they approach the world armed with smiles or frowns?
I do. All the time.
Of course, this shouldn’t surprise you. I’ve admitted before that people watching is a favorite past time of mine. This is more than people watching, though. It’s people analyzing for the sake of self-defense. I’d so love to know why some people are always so damn happy and why others aren’t.
I tend to start thinking about this topic after a random interaction with someone, usually a stranger, who catches my attention like the woman I recently came across during a routine errand.
I was at Walgreens. It’s a store I don’t go into very often because of it’s location. (Busy corner; Wrong side of the intersection for my daily route; Scary left turn when you leave the parking lot. You know what I mean.) Anyways, I think I’ve been in this store less than five times but every time I’ve been there I’ve interacted with the same employee. Her name is Veronica and she is the epitome of happy. In fact, Veronica’s picture should be used in the dictionary as a gleaming example of the definition of ‘delightful’. She cheerfully greets every customer as they enter. She buzzes around making sure patrons are finding what they need and every time she’s rung me up she’s engaged me in a conversation that compelled me to smile.
I have no idea if Veronica is healthy, but I can attest to the fact that she takes Walgreen’s slogan seriously. This woman truly lives at the the corner of happy and healthy.
Why is she so cheery? Who raised her to be so happy? How did they raise her to be so seemingly content? I want to know because I want to raise my kids to be happy, cheerful, positive people. I want them to walk through this world with a cup-half-full attitude, and most importantly to compel others to smile because of their kindness.
Of course, I strive to do this too.
I realize that demeanor is somewhat innate. Some people are born good-natured and it’s my job as a mother to nurture the rest. Kindness, positivity, smiles; strong work ethic, determination, perseverance; humility, graciousness, and patience are all qualities I work to instill in my children. It’s a daunting task and sometimes I question whether any of it is sticking. I guess that’s why I hyper-analyze a person who bleeds all of these qualities. I want to know how they got to where they are.
As I thought about all of this last night I kept circling back to one thing. I’m betting positive, happy people have a lot of love in their lives.
Is love is the magic bullet?
If it is, than why are some people, who I know are very loved, so sour? You know the type. They are the cup-half-empty folks who suck all the oxygen out of the room when they enter. They’re the difficult relatives who never seem satisfied. Nothing ever goes all-the-way right for these people because they can’t help but focus on the fly in the ointment. They are the nit-pickers; the nay-sayers; and they take nagging to a level of relentlessness. Coping with people like this is exhausting because they require so much patience, attention, and compassion…oh…and love.
There’s that word again.
I have people like this in my life and after forty-four years of contemplating my interactions with them I’m convinced that love is the only way to deal with them. I still always leave my go-arounds with negative nellies trying to figure them out so I can work like crazy to make sure my kids don’t morph into them, but I try and throw love back at them as if it’s a shield. (Picture Wonder Woman and her bullet proof wristbands but instead of blocking bullets she’s deflecting nastiness. I know…weird visual aid but it works.) Of course, a good old fashioned vent with a trusted confidant is also helpful after a frustrating exchange but in the end dealing with negativism requires compassion…which requires love.
Love is the magic bullet. I’m convinced of it.
Now…if I could just figure out how to tap into my magic love bullets every time I’m frustrated with a negative person.
If you know the secret, please share. I’d like to arm my kids.