Let me set the scene for you. The checkout line at a national department store. The store is obviously under staffed with only 2 open registers on the first floor and no other staff visible to back up those at the two registers. Be that as it may, the line is long, but it is what it is and you do have to pay for your purchase.
As your standing in line, a customer, 2 customers behind you, starts complaining about the lack of service. She is loud and belligerent. She does not complain to, or about, the staff at the register, she is complaining about having to wait so long and that the store does not care about customer service.
As you stand there, you feel yourself getting more frustrated as well, but it is not because of the lack of customer service, it is because of the loud customer behind you who does not want to let it go. Instead she has spewed her negativity onto all the customers in line and onto the staff. You can see the staff is not comfortable and this bothers you even more. You do not like to see people being made to feel bad for something over which they have no control.
Finally, it is enough. You simply must say something to end the negative vomit or simply remove yourself from the situation. Since you’ve been in the line for a great length and are the customer now being serviced, you decide to say something. You’re pleasant. You say, “I hear you. But I think that is enough.” You’re immediately interrupted by a smart remark with a barrage of derogatory comments. You retort with more kind things but the conversation is no longer, as if it ever was, in your control so you end it. You no longer participate. However, the comments continue and you leave wondering if it was all worth it.
Reflecting on such an event, in which I was personally a part of, it seems very trivial. Why it was not to me at the time, I am on a personal journey to remove negativity from my surroundings. My intention was to help her find the joy in the moment and possibly help her find her positivity, leave the negativity, and begin to feel happiness, freedom, easiness, etc. But, the result was far from what I intended. I believe I need to work on my approach and look at myself, sometimes, instead of others, to change to negativity that currently surrounds me.
What if I had not said anything? Would I still have been able to find joy in the moment? The answer is a resounding YES! Even in the reality of the situation, there is still joy in the moment.
The biggest joy I found in the moment was the staff member. How wonderful that she came to work that day! Had she not, there would have only been one longer line to wait in. My daughter found a pair of jeans that fit her well. This is a feat to celebrate and a great joy! I was with all my children (not considering the awful scene they witnessed) and that is a joy.
There is joy in every moment. Even in the moments overflowing with vulgarities and negativity. You may struggle, but that is where it becomes an opportunity to grow and learn. I could have engaged the staff instead of the customer. Maybe by giving her support and positive words, the outcome would be different.
That’s a what if. Too many of those in your life time to consider them. But it is a result of my reflection and the message here. Think before you act, even if the intent is good, because your joy maybe be multiple in one approach and not the another. Know that if you select an action that may have produce a less than favorable outcome, there is still joy. There is still joy in every moment.
By finding the joy in every moment you will create an atmosphere of positivity around yourself and begin to attract positivity to you. That was the message I was intending to share with the other customer. Maybe she’ll read this. Maybe never. Regardless, others will get the same message and a movement might begin. A movement to be positive.