Never say mean words out of anger. Your anger will pass, but your words can scar a person for life. So use kind words or be silent! Ervin Myers

I visited a Dollar Store this past week. On the door was a big sign saying people entering must wear masks. I gave it little thought because I was wearing one. When I check out, I like to say a kind word to the clerk. That day, the clerk looked rather haggard so I asked how things were going, and she replied business had been slow but steady. She added it had been really hard lately because of all the abuse some customers throw at her and her coworkers over the mask issue. A woman who’d worked there for over three years had quit in tears the day before because she couldn’t take the brutality anymore.

Verbal abuse of store employees is shameful. These people, many of whom make minimum wage, are not responsible for the policies of the companies they work for so why rage at them? They’re trying to earn a living and aren’t paid enough to be verbally abused so much they quit their jobs. Especially in this economy.

What happened to kindness? What happened to respecting people? Did social manners die while we were staying at home to flatten the curve?

I don’t care if you wear masks or if you don’t. Disrespecting people is wrong. Verbally abusing or threatening people is wrong. Period. There’s no excuse or justification for it. If you don’t agree with someone, fine. If you can’t be respectful and polite in your dealings, walk away and go someplace else.

If there’s a sign on the door of business that says masks are required, respect the business and do as requested. If you’re determined not to wear a mask, take your business elsewhere. If you’re in a store that doesn’t require one and you see someone without a mask, respect their right not to wear one. If you don’t like it, walk away. Go to a store where they are required. Shop at places that agree with your point of view.

What alarms me most is that children are watching. Children emulate what they observe. If all they see of human interactions is nasty and vile, they will never know how much good kindness can achieve. Enough children don’t know what civility is. Why are we making more of them?

Model the behavior and show children (and maybe childish adults) how to be kind and how soft answers turn away wrath. Show them how you can disagree, yet remain nice to each other. Show them how much a kind word can lift someone’s spirits and ease their burden. Teach them that some things are none of their business. They and society in general will benefit more from those things than they will from the squabbling and skirmishing about whether we should wear masks or not.

I Peter 3:10-11 For he who would love life and see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

In other words, be nice and encourage each other, face-to-face, on Facebook, and any other social interaction. Let kindness shine everywhere you go.

8 Responses

  1. A thoughtful post! As a Service Manager, I appreciate these words more than you know. Thank you so much for your point about the children. They are not immune to harsh words.

  2. Oh I totally agree. I have seen and heard some pretty terrible remarks and I feel bad that they who say these things are so caught up with this that they do not take the time to stop and just even count to ten. Thanks for your encouragement.

  3. Being scared of something you can’t see that can destroy you is nerve racking. So often I go to a store and find changes and situations that displease me. It is so easy to pass anger to someone. Even if it isn’t the right way or person, we do it. Every store has a address and a store number. I remember being taught in school how to write a letter, how to address it and send it out. I can assume that all who have attended school, too were taught these skills. I find that just putting my frustration on paper helps calm my frustrations. To mail it gives me a feeling of power. Their are a lot of places and people who could use a letter. A place of business that provides me good service or help in my time of need may receive words from me. If we must speak with sharpness, after speak with love so we do not make enemies. Back to wearing the mask. What if by chance you wearing a mask helped me stay a little healthier. Then perhaps it would please me to contribute to your health. A lot of little bugs the eye cannot see looking to inhabit our bodies.

  4. I always love your bits of wisdom. We all need to be reminded from time to time.
    I ordered 3 of your books. Can’t wait for them to arrive. I will slowly get them all.
    Some I had read on Kindle but I wanted them in person as I have a couple of other friends that have written books. This way I can have my books that I personally know the authors displayed!

  5. Another to the point, simple bit is wisdom offered gently but firmly! I have been trying to offer the same advice about masks just with significantly less eloquence. I also appreciated your mention of children & how we can all be better with our influence on their opinions & behaviors! Stay well!

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