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Friday, July 13, 2012

Taking the High Road in the Express Lane

Yesterday evening I ran into my local grocery store to pick up a couple of items.  As I waited in the express lane, a woman walked directly in front of me and gave her items to the cashier.  She essentially pushed her items into the cashier’s face ignoring my presence.  Her rudeness was in no way subtle or unmistakable.   
I really do detest rude behavior especially in adults with on looking children.  This woman had a young girl with her, and as I made an effort to keep my reaction in check and my face unexpressive, I noticed the younger girl watching me.  This girl stared at me even as they left the store.  She may have been waiting for me to react in anger.  I really do hope my expression didn’t reveal my seething feelings.  The girl did distance herself so a part of me thinks she was embarrassed by her mother’s rudeness.    
The cashier apologized to me even though there was nothing she could have done that wouldn’t have caused a scene.  I wonder why so many people choose rudeness over kindness.  To be honest, I would have gladly let this woman go ahead of me, if only she would have asked. 
I once read that “rudeness is the weak person’s imitation of strength.”  These words help me to recognize rudeness as egotism or even a kind of ignorance.

I think the best reaction in these situations is not to react at all.  It’s not easy, and sometimes not reacting is an exercise of will and strength, but I know I certainly don’t want to become the very thing I dislike.    So when I find myself confronted with rude crass people, I choose to take the high road.  In the end, my reaction is the only one I can control and the only one that truly matters.

Also read Lisa Merlo Booth's article,  Why Take the High Road?  

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