I was simultaneously repelled and curious. Were I a more evolved human being I would have leaned more firmly toward the curious side, letting repulsion and therefore judgment take a backseat, or even stay in the trunk.
Overriding dislike overwhelmed me on Wednesday at the Red Cross Blood Donation Center. I had finally succumbed to the needy phone calls and pleas to save lives and such and as I sat in the font area filling out and reading what resembled the depth of War & Peace, I was absorbed in all sorts of judgment and feelings.
As I sat there, wondering if all that Red Cross wooing would end up in rejection (Yes, I have been out of the country at some point in my life), a man started yelling at the nurses and attendants.
“No! I’m NOT comfortable with that!” He bellowed, “Why can’t my daughter come in with me?”
“I don’t understand why you won’t let her stay with me!”
On and on he went.
The staff tried to comfort him, explaining that no one is allowed in while you answer personal and inflammatory questions. And finally he acquiesced, shutting the door to the little office with a meaningful, “Harumph!”
I didn’t say anything. I didn’t give the nurses meaningful looks of understanding. I was just ever so slightly disgusted.
It is people like him, I like to think of him as Angry Man With A Daughter Who Looks Like His Granddaughter, who set the bar so very, very low for the rest of us. I mean, why you gotta be so cranky, AMWADWLLHG?
But I am not one to sit back and simply observe. I saw it as an opportunity to be the favorite blood donor of the hour and continued doing things like being pleasant, respectful and when something bothered or concerned me, I asked questions rather than get angry.
You can imagine I was feeling pretty proud of myself, being all civil and stuff, when I realized it was time to slap my overactive ego down. No one should get an award, even in their ridiculous imagination, simply for being polite.
And I started thinking about Angry Man. And I got curious. I wondered about his anxiety level, what else might be going on in his life and I thought he’s probably a good dad, taking his daughter with him on an important errand.
I started having those thoughts and I put Ego back in the trunk where she belongs.
It is a hard road we travelers journey. It’s important to be patient and kind, and it is equally important to be curious when someone is pushed past their limits and crosses over into cranky and hateful.
Let us love and be kind and let this be the prevailing tenet of our individual religions always. And let us give blood… That is, if they’ll let us.
Like, share, comment, tweet and give cranky people a hug. They need it, or it will annoy them. Both are wins.