I really struggle with rudeness and lack of manners. Working with students, I realize that these often provide the opportunity for teachable moments. But when I encounter these traits in adults, it is a harder pill to swallow. Mainly because there’s an assumption that as an adult, one would know how to treat other adults. But I’ve come to realize that isn’t always the case. And sometimes people DO know better, but something has happened that has broken their filter, and their ability to appropriately manage their behavior and their response is in flux.
My solution: respond with grace.
This is NOT easy. When I’m mistreated or wronged, my natural tendency is to want to respond in the same manner- even when I know better. Even when I know that responding in the same way serves only to escalate a situation that doesn’t need to be escalated. Even when I know that what is really needed in the situation is grace, mercy, and love.
But what does that look like?
That looks like: utilizing manners. Being overly respectful. Not raising my voice. Choosing to listen. Choosing my words carefully. Making sure the other person is (and feels) heard and respected.
I’ve learned that in MANY situations- their frustration isn’t about me. It’s about a million other things that have brought them to this moment. And since it’s not about me, I can choose to not take it personal and to respond in a way that is totally about them- by extending kindness.
I am a product of grace and mercy. Every day, God pours these two over me, in conjunction with his love and as a result, I have been blessed. In tough and challenging moments, I am given the opportunity to share this grace, mercy, and love to someone else.
Who could use some of your kindness, grace, mercy, and love today?
Be encouraged. Peace and blessings.