Archive for October, 2019

A Lesson in Kindness

October 20, 2019

For the past few weeks I’ve been reflecting on a kind exchange I needed to observe.

I was at a boutique shop for an appointment. While “Anna” was assisting me, a lady came up to her and said, “I had a 1:30 appointment. You didn’t see me sitting and waiting? I had a 1:30 appointment.” I didn’t say a word, but I was thinking, “I’m the one with the 1:30 appointment. What’s going on? Anna never books two clients at the same time.” Anna remained calm and never corrected the lady about her appointment. The client asked her how much time she should allow to be there. Anna told her and exhibited only graciousness during the entire encounter. After the lady left, I said softly to Anna, “I love how you handled that because I know that you didn’t schedule her for 1:30.”

She said to me quietly, “I know her. She’s been my client for years. Her appointment was for 12:30. I was looking for her then.” So I asked, “Why didn’t you mention that to her (I know I would have)?” She said again, “I know her. What would that have accomplished? She would have denied it. There would have been a disagreement and that wouldn’t have been good for the shop. I added, ‘plus, You could have lost a client.’ And then she said, besides, it would have hurt her. It wasn’t worth it.”

Wow. I was moved when she said, “It would have hurt her.” Why embarrass or demean a demanding woman in public with the truth? Why make her feel bad? I immediately remembered times when I’d done exactly that: determined to set the record straight with someone at any cost, even if he or she was hurt or denigrated in the process. After all, it’s all about getting to the facts, or to the truth. Or was it? Or was it simply my ego at play, proving myself right and the other person wrong at any cost, even if it “hurt” or belittled the friend, co-worker, relative, or stranger?

Anna modeled a better way…one of humility, grace, love, kindness, and courtesy. Later she said to me, “I’ve been in this business for 36 years. I haven’t always gotten it right, but I’ve learned some things over the years.” As I was leaving, she whispered: “Oh by the way, the client did ask me later, “What time was my appointment?” I told her. She said, “I can’t believe it. I thought for sure it was for 1:30.” Anna left it at that.

And I left the shop with a tangible lesson on how to respond in a Christ-like manner.

Lord, thank you for your daily dose of Grace and a chance for a do-over.