I am well on my way to reading one book every week pursuant to my new year’s resolution. This week, I am exploring “The magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz. In one chapter he narrates a story of an irate guest at a hotel who sent a telegram to reserve a room for a single occupant but who came to the hotel clerk requesting hotel room with double occupancy. The customer insulted the clerk threatening to have him fired and questioned his intelligence. The young clerk apologized but declared that he was merely following instructions.
The author was next in line to deal with the clerk but was pleasantly surprised when the clerk greeted him warmly. The author told the clerk that he admired the way that he dealt with the previous customer. The clerk stated that he refused to be infuriated by a customer like that, he empathised with the man and supposed that he was having marital problems and that the man used him as a scapegoat to feel superior. The clerk added that “…underneath he is probably a nice guy, most folks are…”
The author then suggested that we remember this statement the next time someone “declares war on us. He said the best way to deal with situations like this is to let the other person say their piece, then forget about it”.
We have nothing to lose by following this approach. Instead of responding to their insults , especially for those of us who work in the service industry, it is wise to hold our tongue. There is nothing to gain by charging with bitter words. The other person may in fact be experiencing some trying times and may simply want attention. Although you may find that your minimum wage does not pay you enough to take insults, I am sure by the following week that you will forget the exchange of words.
Have you lost your individuality by confirming to the New Age ? Are you a mindless dummy walking around on your phone 24/7 ? It is easy to fit in, just follow the crowd. Are you happy ? It is pleasing to look at the little things and be grateful. The birds in the sky laugh at us,as we rush to get to our meaningless jobs ,then we rush to return home,enduring hours of traffic,each day. What kind of life is that ? I observe the people as they pass by, long faces , no joy and a general lack of zest for living . At the end of the month,after the rent is paid,the bills are covered,the bank account loses more weight. We then wait for the next salary to repeat the process. Be brave,be strong. Now is the time for innovation,follow your passion. Sometimes when you follow your dreams,you are heart broken,then you wake up and the dream is over. But if you follow your passion and listen to your heart ,if you are disappointed,you will try again. Don’t lose yourself in the crowd . Walk in the opposite direction. Make up your mind to go on a journey of self discovery. Explore yourself ,find out exactly just how likeable you are. When you find yourself,there will be a peace within you. You will be happy,when you are happy with yourself. You must be content with the person that you became. It is a hopeless quest to find happiness in someone else.
The children are the future. The children are awake and will not tolerate the injustices perpetuated by the adults of the day. I saw a child observing a homeless man on the streets of the capital city. The working class passed the gentleman with no concern for his plight. The adults were rushing to reach to their respective work places on time and could not be bothered by another human being.The child watched the homeless man as he lay on the cold ,hard street. Her mother encouraged her to increase her speed,as her little feet tried to match the long strides of her mother. The urban dweller smiled at the innocent child,with a heart filled with compassion. I ventured further up the street,and in a quick glance ,I noticed a secondary school girl giving a homeless man money. This particular homeless man was known to me,he camps closer to my area. I was shocked to see that he was plying his trade of begging in the capital city. He is known for using his salary for purchasing certain substances. It amazed me that the school girl ignored his addiction and was willing to help. The compassion displayed by these school children made me hopeful,that the future will be better.
People underestimate the importance of their backs. If you are having back pains you will have grave difficulty functioning. Your central nervous system consists of your brain and your spinal cord. Your spinal cord runs along your back. Spine injuries may render the victim cripple. I was watching the second installment of Independence Day (2016) and the alien invader was destroyed by shooting her in the back. One of the men who was fighting to save the World advised his comrades to aim for the alien’s back because that was her weakness. I took a moment to process this and I recalled that the human back is also a vulnerable area. We always lament when persons known to us say negative about us “behind our backs “. We become bitter when they “stab us in the back”, wouldn’t it hurt more to aim for our hearts ? I think not,because a broken heart can mend. But a broken back, will never be whole again. In this era of user friendly people ,we have to guard our backs. We have to watch our own backs because a friend,is a known enemy.
I love doubles. For my international readers, “doubles” is a common street food in Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of two baras (flat fried bread) filled with curry channa (curried chick peas). Extra condiments can be added for taste as well as sauces. My favourite doubles vendor sells in Curepe and I visit weekly to indulge in the delicacy. I enjoy eating the doubles standing and I usually make conversation wit the other people eating. I was devouring my third doubles and I could not get enough. I noticed a man who appeared to be homeless approaching the doubles vendor. He wore trousers without a shirt and he had no shoes. He said “Jared…Jared”, the doubles vendor who was collecting cash said “Yes. Mr Williams”. At this time I was considering buying another doubles, then Jared told the homeless man to stand to the right with the other customers who were eating doubles standing and he will be served. The homeless man complied and received his doubles. He stood there and ate his doubles, he watched me and I watched him. I was quietly impressed with the turn of events. I am used to seeing food vendors chase away homeless persons from their establishments. This time, the doubles vendors were indifferent to the financial standing of the homeless man.
Imagine a world where we respected everyone regardless of their race, sexuality or political affiliations. Imagine a world where we treated homeless persons with dignity and kindly refused when they asked us for money. Instead we curse them and advise them to get jobs when they ask for donations. The doubles vendors displayed great professionalism in referring to the homeless man by his name, and then serving him in the same line as everyone else. There was no unequal treatment, no discrimination and I am sure the homeless man was able to hold on to his dignity.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A.Sydney is an attorney at law based in Trinidad and Tobago. She specializes in AML/CFT/Tax Compliance, and provides Corporate Secretarial Services. Feel free to explore the website for her portfolio of companies: http://asydneygroup.com .
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