BE KINDER THAN NECESSARY
“Be kinder than necessary, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.” (1) This saying has inspired me to watch my tongue. The truth is that we don’t know what someone is struggling with. They might have just received terrible diagnosis of illness. Someone may have just lost their job. A spouse has walked out on their long-term relationship. Death in the family has occurred. The list of trauma and struggles is endless.
I felt challenged in a restaurant last week in Kamloops. I had gone out for a celebration supper with some of my girls. All of our entries had a piece of salmon. The same size and type of cut was on each person’s plate. But when my plate was placed in front of me a rotten fish odour permeated the air. The other girls smelt it too. I immediately passed it back to the ‘masked’ (COVID times) waitress letting her know that it was not acceptable. She apologized and asked if I wanted to wait for another piece to be grilled. Knowing that, a piece of salmon does not take very long to cook, I replied, “Yes. thank you.”
Fifteen minutes of lots of laughs and conversation went by while my dinner partners ate their delicious, mouthwatering food. The waitress came back and apologized again and said that my order would be right up in a couple of minutes. Ten more minutes passed.
KINDNESS IS THE CATALYST FOR A BETTER DAY
Then the ‘masked’ manager stopped by and asked, “How are you doing; how are things tasting?” He then tells me that he knows my order wasn’t right and that the second piece of salmon went down. He said, “But I’ve got this. The third piece is on the grill right now.” I wasn’t sure if I heard right. As a result, I asked, “Are you saying that the second piece of salmon just landed on the floor as of now?” “Yes”, he replied. “But I have this. I’ve got it.”
I then realized he was saying that since my dinner had landed on the floor, it would be on the house. There would be no charge. He apologized. I decided then and there to laugh about it and be kind. I said, “Hey, I have cooked many a meal and I understand. These things happen.”
ARE WE GOING TO CHOOSE KINDNESS AND MAKE THEIR DAY OR CHOOSE RUDENESS
Twenty minutes went by.
At this point I have a choice. Am I going to be kind and make their day just a little brighter or am I going to be rude and darken their world? Our ‘masked’ waitress comes by and apologizes again. I realize at that moment that I have the power to “Be kinder than necessary”. “Hey no biggie.”, I tell her. She says how sorry she is. Even more, she is terribly embarrassed. I ask her, “Did you drop it on the floor?” She says “No” . “Well then”, I say, ” it is not your fault. And anyway, these things happen.” We weren’t in a hurry. I didn’t have any whiny, tired children with me. We had no place else we were going; we were just hanging out and having fun! I chose kindness. Why would I choose to give her or anyone else in the restaurant a bad time? What would that accomplish?
When my order came it was hot and delicious and paid for!
“Be kinder than necessary, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle.” (1)
—Karen Moilliet June 24, 2020
Note 1. Based on quotes from James M. Barrie, who said. “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” and Plato, who said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.””
Great article, Karen. It’s a good reminder to take a pause, and think about what the person may be going through before reacting.