Friday, May 15, 2009

That's My Heart, On My Sleeve

I have a question.

When is it "ok" to be rude to people?

Is it ok to be rude to the customer service rep who happened to take your call when you were mad, and heck you're never going to see them, and probably never talk to them again either? What about the person who's tailgating you or driving like a fool that you flip off? I'm guilty of these things, of trying to feel better in the moment. I am working on the first example by telling the person on the phone that "I'm not mad at you, I'm angry and frustrated about this situation, so will you please help me?" It's still not ok for me to be rude but I do try to let the person know that I'm not trying to shoot the messenger. The second example is also something I do less and less because my actions have a direct impact on my sons. And I want them to grow up to be decent, honest, caring and thoughtful men.

Is it ok to be rude to someone you cross paths with occasionally? Is it ok to tell someone who is reaching out to buzz off because you can't be bothered with mere acquaintances? Is ok to coat a slap (or two) with a velvet glove of politeness? I got smacked with velvet yesterday and today. Eloquent, calculated velvet.

Someone in the same circle I dared to call "family" once told me "you have to stroke before you poke." While that sounds funny, and is, it related to helping people grow as individuals, making them wiser, perhaps stronger in character. There were lots of reasons... I'm guilty of being harsh to my students, doling out the life lessons I am still learning myself. But I will tell you that I loved every one of them and I had their best interests at heart. I was tough because I cared. I never thought I was better than them and I always, always said to myself that we are human beings first, before we are professionals, teachers, students, moms, dads, friends... we are human beings with hearts and minds and souls. I don't think I ever smacked anyone in the heart and then walked away leaving them broken. If I did, I truly am sorry.

I am totally regretting putting myself out there. I should not have shared this blog with anyone in real life other than my family and few best girlfriends. But I did, to people who have somehow had an impact on my life for good reasons. I reached out to you to show you I CARE ABOUT YOU despite the miles or months that separate us. If you didn't want to share, that's fine. Don't click. Don't read. Delete the email I sent. But don't ever accuse me of dropping the ball on the family of my heart. The distance is not mine to cross any longer.

I am taking away a very valuable lesson from this. I am going to work harder on how my actions and words affect people. I have a lot of work to do because it is never ok to be rude to be people, the ones we know and the ones we don't know.

Thank you for teaching me again.


Maria Melee May 15, 2009 at 6:09 PM  

Oh lady. That sucks so much.

None of my family members read my blog. Only my brother's girlfriend and George.