We are only two days away from Thanksgiving Day which means it will be a week of craziness and last minute grocery shopping, making plans, and finalizing who is making what and traveling from where for Thanksgiving dinner. The ironic side of Thanksgiving week is because of people stressing out about different life events and/or plans, they tend to be running low on patience, especially when dealing with strangers. Due to the way I have seen people treat each other, and unfortunately how I have reacted on some days as well, I decided to write a post giving a perspective on being nicer to those around us. With all of the sadness going on the world, we always talk about wanting “peace on Earth” without realizing it’s the little things we do every day that is the stepping stone of peace.
Be patient, be kind means exactly what it says. While you’re out and about this week preparing for your grand Thanksgiving meal, I want you to think of others before yourself. Many of you may be thinking along the lines of giving back through volunteer work of some sort, but as nice as that is I’m talking about your everyday interactions with others. For example: while you’re out driving and you get stuck behind the one car going 10 miles under the speed limit, try and consider the person who is driving the car. Maybe the person is elderly and doesn’t have anyone who is able to run errands for them, or drive them around to get their errands done. Maybe the person driving under the speed limit is driving with tears in their eyes because of receiving some bad news about themselves or a loved one. When you go to the grocery store and there is that one person holding up the line with tons of coupons and/or multiple payments, maybe they are struggling to feed their family and this is the only way they can afford everyday necessities. Maybe they recently lost a job, or they are helping care for someone else and trying to find a way to make it work the best way they know how. On the flip side there are some people who are generally not the nicest people to others, but even for that person, consider the holiday season may make them sad and they respond with anger because they don’t have anyone to spend the day with or anywhere to go. Maybe the holidays bring them memories of pain instead of happiness due to their childhood. Not everyone grows up in a household that makes you feel happy and loved any day of the year let alone during the holidays.
I say all of this to remind everyone to try and remember compassion when you feel yourself getting angry. Remember everyone is fighting a battle of some sort, and most battles you can’t see by their outward appearances. Remember we are only here and able to share joy with our loved ones because of the wonderful grace of God. If God can bless us with the gift of grace and mercy through all of our downfalls and sins who are we to not extend grace and mercy to those around us. We know of the atrocities happening in this world to our brothers sisters and we know the answer to all of it is love and peace. We can’t ask and/or pray for love and peace if we’re not willing to extend it to those in our own communities on a daily basis. Will we all fall short and find ourselves losing patience in some situations? Of course, we’re only human. However, it is what we do to correct ourselves and our behavior afterward that counts. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to run into that person again within your community. (Six degrees of separation is real) If so, apologize to them even if you feel awkward in the process. Your apology may make their entire day. They might have even forgotten about the interaction, but you could very well restore their faith in humanity with your apology, which may lead to them extended the same grace to someone else one day.
Although this post fit perfectly into my “thankful” Jamieson Diaries theme for the month of November, this post works for every day and every month in life. I would like to incorporate not only being thankful every day of my life, but to always extend love, and be an example of the peace I pray for in this world.