Paul's Blog

When is a Fool Not a Fool?

Today as I walked through the airport there was this bloke (chap) in the security line who was obviously more important than us little people and was acting out like a petulant child. I thought to myself “What a fool!”

Then I remembered the lady at the grocery store a few Saturday’s ago; she’d made it really clear to me that she thought I was a fool – both socially inept and parentally negligent insofar as my children’s safety and well-being was concerned. You see I was bumbling around with my three kids, letting them be a little more rambunctious and letting them have a little more fun than I probably should have been. So I can kinda see why she felt that she had the right, nay the duty, to point out the error of my ways and reprimand me; reminding me that it was unsafe for a grown child (Erin is 8-years-old) to ride around in a grocery cart and that children playing and laughing in the grocery store was (in her opinion) both unsafe and hardly appropriate.

A few responses sprang to mind… some more quickly than others. After taking two inconspicuous deep breaths to calm myself down, I smiled kindly and chose “Thank you and I’m sorry for any bother we may have caused you…” before quickly moving on (Erin still in the cart, Jack and Kate delightedly tormenting each other, oblivious to the a-dull-t conversation that’d just occurred). I just had a silly grin on my face as I reflected upon the response I’d chosen – it seemed kinder than “Back off lady… cut me some slack… I’m a little distracted… I just got out of hospital having been in the ICU for a few days with blood clots in my leg and lung…I’m scared about the whole dying thing… particularly given that the reason my daughter is in the grocery cart is that she’s exhausted… we were up all night because she had a rough time-of-it with her uncontrollable seizures that she’s had to live with since they removed her brain tumor a few years ago…”

The lady meant well… and I guess to her, I was being a fool.

So to all of you – including the fool in the security line this morning and the lady from the grocery store – see where you can find opportunities to be kinder… please have an absolutely fabulous week!

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