Putting life in perspective is easier said than done. When things are going smoothly we are happy as can be, but as soon as the slightest thing goes wrong, we are so quick to snap.
For instance, I drive an Acura and every time I have a service due I take it into the dealership. I absolutely love my car and I love all of the people there, and it’s always a pleasant experience. Plus, depending on the service you get done, they will give you a loaner car, so there is never an inconvenience. Recently one of my headlights burned out — at least so I thought — but turns out there were two other parts behind the light that needed to be replaced. It was going to cost close to $800! I wasn’t expecting that, and of course the first thing that went into my mind was this was ridiculous and I was being overcharged. After all of the great things they helped me with, when things didn’t go as planned I immediately jumped to a bad conclusion and wanted to do everything from telling them how I feel to giving a low score on the follow-up survey.
But then it dawned on me. I don’t want to be one of those people. I always give the benefit of the doubt, and this was something I just had to deal with and realize that after so many great years of service and being loyal to them, as they are to me, that I can’t let this change my attitude towards them. It’s definitely a first instinct, but you always have to think before you get upset. Then a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Texas for the e-Women Network conference, I was honored to meet the famous Zig Ziglar and hear him and his daughter Julie speak about life. Julie told a great story about how when she was a little girl, she went to a restaurant with her father and the waitress was not so nice. She had an attitude, didn’t crack a smile and slammed the plates down on the table.
We have all experienced this.
Well, instead of Zig getting upset and having words with the waitress, he leaned in to his kids and said, “Something tough must have went on in her life; let’s be extra nice.”
For Julie, that story has always stuck out in her mind. She grew up knowing that when someone is rude to you, the only way to help the situation is with kindness. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all live this way? If we could try to understand why someone acts the way they do and know how to interact with that person, wouldn’t life be so much easier? There is so much to know about human psychology and I bet most of us haven’t even begun to pass the tip of the iceberg.
Once we understand more about interacting with each other, we can certainly put things in perspective a lot easier. We can also find perspective sooner when we are faced with emotional things that occur during our lifetime, such as when someone close to us gets sick or passes.
It really makes you appreciate what you have.
And those times when we come in contact with the caregivers of sick people, it’s important that we understand that they may be stressed out and depressed from what they have to see on a daily basis. OK, so if a stressed-out caregiver and you interact, realize that they may be in a saucy mood for a plethora of reasons. Don’t take it personally. And remember what Zig told his children.
So next time you are out and about and something out of the ordinary happens, try to make the best of the situation and think about the reasons behind people’s actions and interactions. When you take this perspective, not only will you be a better person, but you may even help someone along the way.
As a freelance writer, Whitney's columns were published in multiple press outlets including: GoJaneNews.com The Atlantic City Weekly New Jersey Lifestyle Magazine & The Boardwalk Journal just to name a few.
She is the former host of the Entertainment Minute which aired on the NBC40 News and was featured twice on FOX's Chasing New Jersey.