Monday, October 15, 2007

100 Angels

There are alot of rude people in the world. I am trying to work from a place of love lately, to assume that everyone has good intentions but that things get lost in translation from their intention to their mouth. And I am often, still, so taken aback by someone's rudeness that I can't get it together enough to correct them or offer a witty comeback. People don't seem to be playing by the same set of rules or do they just have poor hometraining? I am constantly amazed (and I do mean AMAZED) at how many people tell me how polite my children are. When they are given something they say thank you. When they need to maneuver past someone they say excuse me. If they need something from someone they preface it with a please. And people actually take time out of their busy day to tell me what a polite child I have. And how impolite their children are. As though my kids just sprang from the head of Zeus with social skills. It's my job to make sure they are polite and aware and kind and compassionate and all the other things that get them into college and keep them out of bad relationships. And here are parents actually admitting that they have failed in their child-rearing responsibilities. Seriously, how hard is it?

We take it for granted that people are rude. We expect poor behavior, bad service and an attitude from everyone we meet. We don't trust anyone, even people we know and we are constantly looking for the downside - what's their angle? Is it then so shocking to me that we reap what we expect? Yeah, it still is. My daughter recently came home from school telling us that some of the girls didn't want to play with her or eat lunch with her. My husband asked her, "why do you think that is?" And she responded that they were not people that she wanted to play with "anyway." My husband's response was different than mine might have been. He told her that people can tell that she might not like them. That her face or attitude or even tone of voice might indicate that she didn't want to be around them. "What are you talking about daddy?" "Smile. And mean it." Was all he said. Two days later she came home telling us about all the fun she had at school with all her new "friends." Now, for me, life is too short to get involved in first grade drama, but what he told her made an impact on her. And it made an impact on me. Smile and mean it.

I could very easily interject quotes or video from The Secret here, but I won't. We all get karma. We know that what goes around comes around. And we know that ultimately what we leave behind is a legacy of our kindnesses.

There is a story that I have been attributing to my grandmother for some time now. Family members tell me that they don't remember my grandmother actually saying this story - so I am still going to give my grandmother the credit, even if it was my story, because if we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of our ancestors. So, this story is from my collective "grandmothers." Ashe.

For every change in your life, 100 angels must attend you to help create the change. If one angel does not show up to do their job, that change takes that much longer to happen.

I want to show up for other people. To be one in their number of angels and hopefully by doing so my angels will show up for me all the faster. And who doesn't need a little help and a smile?

We must be the change we wish to see in the world.
Mahatma Gandhi

How will you change the world today?

in peace

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