People Are Awesome….So Why Do We Focus on the Bad?

I wrote a post not too long ago that many of you enjoyed because you were reminded of good people that you see frequently who work in the fast food industry. (If you missed People Are Awesome #tacobell, check it out!)

With the chaos that continues to go on in our world today, I am reminded of people who are awesome in our world. What? How could I be reminded if all we see is the evil in the world? It was something simple. Someone in the online world chose to highlight a positive experience from their day and share with others. I was surfing through my local Facebook group for buy, sell, and trade and I found a neat post by a woman who was thanking the stranger (in our town!) who helped her when she was feeling like a tired, overdone mom! I started scrolling through the comments and many were praising her reminder that there ARE good people in the world.

People don’t always make bad decisions. People can go out of their way to help someone out as they see them in the grocery store. There are neighbors who stop by to talk with you when you’re grieving the loss of your  mother. There is the car in front of you at Starbucks who pays for your coffee. That lady who helped the other mom load her car as her four children were running around her like little munchkins. The kind word from a stranger about your awesome shoes.

So why is it we get so easily focused and wrapped up in the negative?

Why is it when I ask you to remember the last time someone “crossed” you or was rude to you, you can easily remember that time at the movies, but when I ask you if you can remember when a stranger was kind to you, your mind goes blank? Why is negative such a party and positive is such a party pooper?

A few Sundays back, our pastor at church mentioned that some years ago, a local news channel wanted to showcase only positive stories. They were going to bring to the state and local areas only stories that would encourage civilians. Guess what happened to that news show? It lasted only four months! I don’t have the answers to all the “why’s” for us humans in wanting to hear all the drama in the world, but I do know that I am surrounded by a lot of positive people in my town, in my daily routines and stores and errands. I want to focus on them. I want to appreciate that good stuff.

I want to see others how God sees them. Not only that, but I want to love others how God loves them.

Obviously we can’t walk around with our head in the sand. We need to know what’s going on so we can respond when the time is right. Non-violent protests should happen. Petitions can accomplish much. Social awareness has its place in our lives. But when I live in a world that tends to focus on the negative, well, I want to counter that with the positive that I see in the world. I NEED to.

Yes, there is so much bad in the world and so much sadness. But the stranger at the park who helps the little boy after he fell or the group of teenagers who decided to raise money to feed kids in the inner city–THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE that help us breathe everyday. I already know what kind of people drain my energy everyday. God help me.

Who knows, maybe I will write more about how people are awesome. Maybe it will only last for four months!

No, it will last longer. Why? Because I choose it. What about you? How will you choose to see the world?

 

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People Are Awesome #tacobell

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(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)

This guy had been with Taco Bell for about two years. He worked on the line making the food, moved to the window and eventually became a shift manager. His small frame, tattoos, and what I would guess piercings, made him the stereotypical “punk.” Except he was about thirty years old and I don’t know about you, but as an 8th grade teacher, I have a hard time calling a grown man “punk.” I tend to think of hot-headed, mid-puberty teenage boys as punks. This guy had a sharp-sounding voice and easily commanded the attention of the workers at Taco Bell. Not so much like an 8th grade boy.

You see, my husband is a Mt. Dew addict and this Mt. Dew HAS to come from the Taco Bell that is about two miles from our house. Seriously, it’s a straight shot and my husband loooooveesss going there to grab his drink. It’s like the rest of us and our Starbuck’s addiction. Unfortunately, when I was pregnant with Asher, I became addicted to Taco Bell’s Gordita Crunch (I don’t know what my excuse is now!) and we got to know this “adult punk” pretty well. So, when you’re seeing this guy about two times a week (OK, 3-4 times a week, especially during the 2nd trimester!! I know, I know.) you start to talk and get to know these awesome people who work in the life of fast food.

Turns out he had two daughters, a woman he’d been with off and on to have two daughters with, and was working full time to support them, all the while trying to finish up getting his high school degree. As I got to know Matt (let’s call him Matt for privacy sake), I started to realize that this guy would give me the shirt off his back if I needed it. Matt was a hard worker who was doing what he needed to do to provide the way he could for his family. I don’t know about you, but when I typically go through a fast food restaurant, I tend to glaze over the workers and forget that they are real.

Fast food is well, FAST. The whole goal of these places is to get you in and out without even a moment’s notice of the hard workers behind all the fast. Have you ever thought about some of the crazy skills these people are either developing or honing when it comes to working at McDonald’s? The multitasking. The agility of flipping a hamburger while quickly reading the screen and wrapping a special order, all the while preparing for the next item on the order screen. My husband, who is an engineer, would absolutely struggle in this environment.

So as I got to know Matt throughout our pregnancy with Asher, I started paying attention to people behind the counter. I started reading their name tags and saying hello to them by name. And you know what started happening? The more we went in there, the more they started to get to know us and talk to us about our new beginning with our little family. The folks at Taco Bell started becoming pretty cool.

Of course, Mike loved this. I probably shouldn’t tell you this because the crazy Taco Bell people might come down on us through the NSA or something, but I can’t count the times Mike would get a free drink. I felt like Taco Bell became our Cheers. The kindness came to a peak after Asher was born. 

We planned to take Asher to TB (that’s what we call it in our house) to show him off, especially to Matt who had a soft spot in our heart. Mike had said we would by later in the week. You know what those awesome people who work many hours to meet other folks’ needs at Taco Bell did for us?

They rallied a bag of baby clothes and items to give us for Asher. It was one of the sweetest gifts we received.

I don’t always think to say hello to folks when I am getting lunch at Arby’s. I don’t always make eye contact with the multitasking queen behind the register. But I try. I try to notice people in the workforce more often. People who are doing a service for me. People who are working the grind to buy that first car. People who are happy to have their first job. People who are looking for extra money to help with their retirement. People who we probably don’t always consider hard workers, which is really unfortunate. Yes, there are always the teenagers who need to grow up and the lady who is skating by, but I don’t want to define everyone by a certain someone.

That’s why it is worth it to say hello using their name and acknowledging the service they are doing for you. You never know where that hello will take you. 

What about about you? Do you try to acknowledge people in the service industry? How do you do it? What stops you from doing it? Let us know in the comments below!

Peace,
Glo

(This post also appears on gloryannaboge.com.)

Some of us blogging buddies are committed to writing more weekly on our blogs! We have a variety of topics we’ll be writing about! To check out these lovely ladies and where their writing is taking them, click on their blog links below! And as always, tip your waters.
Aimme at mamacentric.com
Abbie at grumblinggrace.com
Emily at emilyfisk.com
Harmony at mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com

 

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