Friday, September 17, 2010

Be Kinder Than Necessary

I know, I know. I'm not blogging enough. I have tons of things to share . . . Megan's first day of school, Laura's wedding, etc. I promise I'll get to them. I just want to take a second to tell you a little story . . . a little life lesson that was made clear to me today.

A few days ago, I started getting calls from an older lady. She was trying to reach Camilia and clearly had the wrong number. She called, and called, and called. Each time I would clearly explain that I was Lisa and not Camilia. I told her she was dialing the wrong number. Then she started leaving messages on my voice mail for Camilia. I called her back and told her Camilia didn't get her messages because she was calling my number and not Camilia's.

As the calls continued for several days (at least 6-7 a day) I felt myself growing increasingly annoyed. I wanted to scream each time the mundane activities of my day were interrupted by this lady. I wanted to scream, but something inside me took over. I felt sorry for this poor woman who couldn't reach Camilia. Instead of responding with annoyance, I was kind. At first, I just wished her luck with reaching Camilia. When she apologized, I always told her it was ok and made sure to tell her to have a nice day. I finally asked her what number she was trying to dial. The area code plus the first seven digits of Camilia's number were the first seven digits of my number, minus my area code. I called the number she was trying to reach to tell Camilia she had someone who desperately wanted to get a hold of her. Instead I got a recording that said the number was disconnected. When I called the lady back to explain to her that Camilia's number was disconnected, she thanked me for my kindness in trying to help her. She explained her husband recently passed away and she was trying to reach Camilia (her late husband's insurance agent) for assistance with his estate. She apologized for the number of times she bothered me and thanked me again and again for how patient I was with her.

Oh my gosh, I could have been short with her. I could have yelled at her for continuing to call the wrong number over and over. I could have made someone suffering through the loss of their spouse feel even more terrible . . . but I didn't. I'm so glad I didn't.

I tell you this story not to brag about how great I am (I'll do that in my next post when I show you Laura's wedding cake - ha). I tell you this story to remind you of one thing . . .

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
-Billie Holliday

Wouldn't it be really great if this story ended with the old woman telling me her husband was a gajillionaire and that she was looking for someone to give his fortune to. It doesn't. Sorry.

1 comment:

Ruth Dunkman said...

Thanks so much for sharing this great reminder, Lisa! Love you!