Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Rude Guy Challenge

I've said this a few times in the last few months, but I have felt enveloped in love for the last...long time.  This has translated into a feeling of protection and of comfort while I've been traveling.  I arrived home Thursday morning, finally able to physically feel the loving embrace of my family.  Thursday night and Friday I was at Trinity functions, seeing students and teachers.  I also saw some of my good friends Thursday.  On my first days back, I have been so warmly embraced, literally and figuratively.  I wonder how I have come to be so incredibly blessed...I say this with a sense of awe and gratitude...

The other day I was in the airport shuttle in Istanbul.  There was a guy in the shuttle who clearly wasn't happy.  I'd seen him the day before as we were getting our hotel vouchers for the night.  He was incredibly rude to the guy passing out the hotel vouchers.  I wonder how often the vouchers guys are verbally assaulted for things over which they have no control...

Now, in all fairness, Rude Guy had apparently been having a rough time of it, so his bad mood was maybe understandable.  I gathered from the cell phone conversation which was impossible not to hear in the shuttle that he wasn't supposed to have spent the night in Istanbul and that his luggage had been lost.  When his friend asked, "How are you?"  his answer was, "Arrogant. Pissed off.  My usual self."  He also said he was nursing a hangover from the night before.

What a sad life.  Hearing him just made me sad.  I wondered what had happened in his life to make "arrogant and pissed off" his norm.  Were there not other people in the shuttle, I may have tried to strike up a conversation, saying something to try to make him feel just a little less pissed off.  But I didn't.  I did, however, try to channel good energy and good thoughts his way, knowing that if he felt a little better, the people he encountered may fare better than the voucher guy the day before.  Our emotions and actions tend to have a ripple effect, after all.

I don't know what happened with Rude Guy after we got out of the shuttle.  I don't know if he felt the vibes I was trying to send him.  I hope he did.  Seeing him got me thinking, though.  Being tired and hungry often turns me into a person about as pleasant as Rude Guy, though I managed to hold it together during my long journey from Montenegro to Louisville. Now, despite exhaustion, I am riding on a wave of love. How could I not feel contented and joyful?  I hope that people around me are feeling the loving energy that is radiating around me.  I can't imagine that it can be contained within me, nor do I want it to.  That would be a waste of a gift.  I hope you feel it, as you have most definitely contributed to it.

Now here's the challenge... Believe me, this is a challenge I am issuing to myself, too.  We all meet a lot of different people as we go through our days.  Sometimes we are the ones radiating warmth and love, sometimes we are Rude Guy.  The challenge is to practice sending out good vibes even when we may not be feeling them so strongly. This doesn't mean we always have to be in a good mood.  It just means we don't take our mood out on others, in particular others who have nothing to do with the mood.  The challenge is to emit calm and peace, even when we're dealing with Rude Guy.  The challenge is to remember that none of us really deserves to be treated badly...even when maybe it feels like we do...or they do.  This doesn't mean evil shouldn't be confronted, it should.  But we can do it while maintaining our own dignity and respecting that of others.  The challenge is to remember that we all, ALL, ALL deserve, need, thrive on love...even when it feels like we don't...or they don't.

Now let me be a little more specific about my little challenge.  Some time in the next few days, or y'know, if you really want to, every day (soon it'll become a habit), I challenge you to be very deliberate in sending some positive vibes out, in whatever way you want, doing it obviously or not, to someone you don't know or someone you know, to someone who clearly needs the boost.  Maybe the guy who just cut you off, the girl at the grocery store, just anyone... Wish them peace, give them a smile, offer them a hand, something, anything, that reminds both you and them that they are deserving of all good things that come to them.  I think you'll find your own day change from the effort and maybe, just maybe it'll change someone else's day, too, rippling out farther than you can imagine.  Up for it?

No comments:

Post a Comment