As we go through life’s ups and downs, it is essential that we develop a thick skin for certain things. And by “certain things” I mostly mean people. Try as we might, we seem to have a certain knack for tearing each other down, don’t we?
Though having a thick skin for people is important, I wonder why so many of us find it necessary to try to pierce that protection. There are people that evidently haven’t started their day until they have made someone feel like dirt. My wife and I have both worked customer service so we’ve seen pretty much all different shades.
However, some of the stories my wife has shared with me since beginning work at a bank call center really hurt my view of society as a whole. All of the angry people that choose to spit vitriol at somebody trying to help them simply because they either lack a certain understanding, misinterpreted information, or just desire to cheat the system and fly off the handle when it doesn’t work. These people make my heart ache. And make my blood pressure rise.
I understand completely that I am but a single voice, but I am a single voice that is tired of crap. Tired of people being unaccountable for their own stupidity and raging at people because of it. It may suck to be wrong, but it is an inevitability. There are going to be countless situations where you will have to swallow your pride and admit you were wrong.
Conversely, there very well could be a situation where you are wronged – and those situations tend to play out similarly.
Breathe. Think. Consider the situation. In the hustle and bustle of a day, an item might accidentally get scanned twice. A code might be entered incorrectly that charges for a more expensive item. Interestingly enough, however, these situations have a strange ability to get resolved. And that resolution can be achieved without anyone being made to feel like pond scum.
But again… we like to not consider. We don’t want to think about whether or not the person we’re tearing down is suffering. Or maybe they’re not suffering – but this one angry person triggers something. Believe it or not, but that is all it can take. Not one person is physiologically identical to another. Your decision to take your anger out on somebody could have far-reaching effects. Not a guarantee… but it could.
You don’t have to believe in the Word of God to demonstrate grace (though I will point out that the Good Book is replete with wonderful examples). Think about all of the times you were given grace. Maybe you, as a child, broke something that should have gotten you grounded but didn’t. Maybe your teacher gave you at least half credit for an assignment that was otherwise moot. Perhaps your lender decided to waive that late fee that otherwise would have overdrawn your account.
We’re given grace every day, whether we’re aware of it or not. So share it. Challenge yourself to be graceful, because being angry is easy. If this became a trend, perhaps our skin wouldn’t need to be so thick.