I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s an age thing but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective, and I’m not 100% sure that perspective is the actual term I should be using.
It makes me a little sad that I wasn’t wiser in my younger years but several things that have been on my mind:
Walmart – We all seem to love to hate Walmart and I am not saying they’re the greatest corporation but they aren’t the worst. When Chad worked for them, he started in college as a part-time employee. For those of you who remember those years from my blogging about his antics, you will probably agree with me that he was not the employee of the year material. But he had a manager who took an interest in him, saw his potential, disciplined him with kindness and once Chad graduated from college, that manager encouraged Chad to go into the management program. Chad worked horribly long hours with them but he got a lot of vacation time. I think after 11 years with them, he had about 8 weeks vacation. I’m not sure their vacation plans are as generous any more. But, when we, as customers, go into Walmart, we have to realize that they have a hard time getting employees. The entry level jobs do pay low wages and for those who have to pay for child care, it isn’t feasible though you do have to start somewhere to move up but if you already don’t have any money, you can’t have your day care costing more than you bring home. Walmart gave Chad opportunities he would not have otherwise had and even though I see many of the gripes people have with them, they were fair to him and they helped him along the way. Also, they come into towns where other businesses usually won’t go. Yes, they do put some mom and pop businesses out of business but if you’ve ever lived in a small town that doesn’t have a Walmart and looked for something that could not be found, it makes you thankful for the Walmart stores. Yes, it’s a lot of low quality stuff from China but where can you shop that you don’t find that? I laugh when people say they don’t shop at Walmart because they don’t buy Chinese junk and I want to say “Where the heck do you shop that you are able to buy anything else?”
When I was in MO, we went into a local-ish grocery store that I wanted to check out and the prices were outrageous! Blue Bell ice cream was almost $8 and Walmart had it for $6 something. Why would I pay that much more for the same thing?
Anyway . . Walmart will never be my favorite store but because of price and convenience, I don’t think they’re awful and I think they gave Chad a fair shot, even when he deserved a kick in the rear probably.
Another thing – those crews that come in to restore power and their support crews. I never thought a whole lot about them. I lived with hurricanes but the biggest thing that caused us to lose power was the ice storm in Louisiana when we had massive power lines down and crews from everywhere came to help. We were thankful that they came but I never thought that every one of those folks that came in had left families behind, driven for days and were staying in sometimes not so great accommodations. Now that Chad is doing that type of work, I realize what a sacrifice not only the workers make, but their families make as well. Chad left Kansas on Wednesday morning with no idea where he was going. They drove to south of Dallas and spent the night, then, because in the fog of the storm, there wasn’t a lot of organization yet, so Thursday morning they drove from south of Dallas to Metairie, Louisiana and spent the night there. Yesterday morning, they were going to Baton Rouge and then got orders to go to Lake Charles, which is where Chad was hoping to get to go. Their accommodations are not the greatest but they’re doing what they need to do. He will probably be there at least a month so that will mean that in two months, he’s spent two nights at home, has worked in New York, Iowa and Louisiana. That’s what they do but it’s a sacrifice and I hope people who need their services appreciate them and let them know they’re appreciated. I was telling Vince last night . . I can foresee how this goes: Week 1 and into Week 2 – everyone is thanking them for being there; Week 3 – people are looking at them and wanting to say “Why is my power not on?” but they’re still being nice; Week 4 – people want to grab them by the ears and drag them to their homes to do whatever it takes to get power back on. I’ve been there! I understand but seeing it from the other side makes me look at it differently.
Even as a mom, by the time Chad was 2 years old, I felt the need to go back in time and find all those moms to whom I’d given the stink eye because of their misbehaving children. I was 100% of the opinion that children need to be seen and not heard . . and along came Chad. I was 33 when we adopted him as an infant and I learned a whole lot quickly about expectations vs. reality.
Almost everything we do; everything we believe has been shaped by something in our life – what our parents believed, what our favorite teacher taught us, what a mentor shared with us.
I had an incident this week where a friend did something that hurt. I felt somewhat betrayed or used. Vince asked if I was going to say anything to her and I said no . . there’s no benefit in discussing it but it did change our relationship. For a while Vince has been telling me that she isn’t the friend I thought she was and I didn’t see it but now I do. I’ve always said that I can’t change others but I won’t let others change me. I will continue to trust people until they prove they are no longer trustworthy or, are no longer a true friend.
I’m asking . . if you have an opinion or even maybe a habit that you feel is written in stone – think about it from the other person’s perspective. You don’t have to change your mind; you don’t have to change their mind – just think about it from a different mindset.
The world needs to be a kinder, gentler place. Maybe some of us need to be kinder and gentler.