I was at the Golden Corral(GC) this weekend for their breakfast buffet and saw something that was disturbing. After I dealt with that in my mind, I started to think about how I appear to others or rather, how I treat others. Here's what happened:
At the GC there is an area where there is a cook grilling various items...ham, sausage patties, sausage links etc..There is also a standing ham that he slices to order...you know, for breakfast ham. Typically, the person doing the grilling at this particular restaurant is Hispanic. As I was getting some biscuits, a well dressed man(WDM) (black suit, tie VERY shiny shoes) approached the grill area. He demanded a very thickly cut piece of ham. The cook did not understand him. There was a language barrier. So, instead of being understanding and TOLERANT, the WDM spoke even louder to this man. I don't know, thinking if he spoke louder the cook would understand him better? When the gentleman on the grill still did not understand him he continued to speak louder and louder, until he was yelling! Finally, a young lady came to translate for the WDM and the grill cook complied with the request. However, the entire time this happened (all of maybe 3-4 minutes) the WDM was extremely condescending to the grill cook and even as his request was being accommodated, he was rolling his eyes and tapping his foot in exasperation. Just so mean. Shortly thereafter, the same WDM bellowed to the workers behind the buffet that they needed to get biscuits out immediately. THEN, after that, I was absolutely shocked (and dismayed) that several people came up to the WDM and spoke to him calling him "Pastor"...
Yes, I was just disappointed and not a little embarrassed for the grill cook, but then I got to thinking...how do I come across to people in the various areas I travel? Restaurants, gas stations, my students, my students parents...Hmmm.
As much as we all have our opinions on the immigration issue, I feel so bad for some of the people who obviously have a language barrier when they arrive in the United States. We are a fantastic country for what we offer people coming here. We are still the greatest country in the world. However, I think we need to work on welcoming people to our country despite the language they speak. The people who come here from, let's say Mexico, want the same things for their families that we (United States, born and bred) want- to make a better life for ourselves and our families. They are just as human as we are...yes, just as important AND human as the WDM.
After this incident, I watched people this weekend. Watched people in Lincoln Park Zoo...watched them at RJ Grunts...watched them on the bus, grocery store,restaurant, movie theatre...and I have "watched" myself. And you know what I think? I think people are basically good, however, people sometimes do not realize how they comes across in various situations. I want to believe that most people aren't intentionally condescending and rude. I want to believe that Pastor just did not realize how horribly he was treating the GC worker.
So, I am putting this out there for you... take a week and look at yourself. Try to step outside of yourself and see how the person/people you are dealing with in various situations see YOU. Can you do better? Can you be more tolerant? Can you be more patient?
What can you do to make the people you deal with have a positive lasting impression of you and make their day a little brighter?
Take the challenge and let me know!!!
As always thanks for reading! Stay healthy, eat well and be happy!!
PS/ While I do not practice any particular religion, I follow this very interesting catholic priest. His name is Father Jonathan Morris. You can check him out at www.fatherjonathanmorris.com. Although I don't agree with a lot of what he says, he is engaging and a great voice for the catholic church...a young man who tries to apply the sometimes archaic views of the church to current times. He has a Lent 2013 Challenge on his website. Check it out. You can take the basic shell and message and apply it to your life. It talks about improving your mind, body and soul. And, as many of you know, you can do all that without having to relate it or follow any specific religion or religious doctrine. Because that's what we're all trying to do, right? Improve our mind, body and soul? Check it out :)