Patience is a virtue . . . as far as I'm concerned that old saying is so true. Patience is worth cultivating because it's an important way to show kindness to others and to yourself. In many respects I'm a very patient person. I'm willing to work long and hard to make my dreams a reality - sometimes without any appreciable evidence that my efforts are paying off. Ultimately the results do show up, but not overnight.
I'm usually patient with other people as well, and consider myself to be quite tolerant. I try to reserve judgment and strive to be open minded. But . . . when it comes to things that appear to waste my time, or instances of truly poor service - my telephone and cable providers come to mind, as they often have 'driven me nuts' during the past 14 years - I am not patient and I have not always been polite when 'awful service' rears its ugly head.
I 'AM' trying to change. It's Thursday, and that means it's Tip-Day for PreMeditated Acts of Kindness. My 2008 Resolution is to 'Show Gratitude' for my blessings by 'Giving Back'. The point behind PreMeditated Acts Of Kindess is to give more conscious thought to my actions and the way that I treat others. I'm urging folks to join me and do the same - to work at being kind because it's the right thing to do, without worrying about receiving anything in return, be it kind gesture or word, though my experience is that kindness shown is usually returned in kind.
With that in mind, I can't single-handedly improve a company's service record, but I can add years to my life by reducing stress, and letting things 'roll off' - 'just let it go', as one colleague often says. Even if the 'poor service' is caused by an employee's who bad attitude, or perhaps by unrealistic, or inadequate company policies, it does no good to be rude or impatient. Often, the person at the other end of the phone line is just trying to help, and has no control over the situation, so I'm really working to show patience, restraint and kindness.
I have a folder on my computer full of 'complaint letters' about a whole host of service problems that have occurred in various industries over the years. I have tried to improve things by writing to illustrate the problems, suggest changes that would improve service and make it more fair. In most instances, the problems were eventually solved, but with many headaches. The letters do help in another important way, however, because they make you feel better via an avenue to vent, and by providing a sense of empowerment . . . doing something positive when you have no control over a situation.
Bottom line: I am making a conscious effort to be patient and kind with all service providers, both good and bad. And I'll continue the practice of writing letters, calling supervisors, and tipping for great service. I don't believe in contacting companies simply to complain. The compliments are just as important. I hope you'll join me this week in striving to make someone else's day a little bit happier. Or if you're feeling a little low, try to be inspired by a kind soul who passes your way and smiles, does you a favor, gives you a big hug, lets you merge in traffic . . . lends a hand.
Remember: I Resolve To Achieve My New Year Resolutions, One Resolution, One Day At A Time For One Year. It's your choice. Do it today. Turn your resolution into reality in five simple, common sense steps: Dare To Dream, Decide, Define, Develop A Plan, and Do It Daily. Make your resolution a permanent Lifetime Resolution, something that's with you for good! Above all, Be A Resolutionista, someone who makes resolutions, keeps resolutions, and enjoys the journey! Let's Go For It!
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Kim M. Simpson - February 28, 2008
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