Words and Actions…

I’m a thinker. I am thinking all of the time and I almost always am overthinking things. So, I was thinking (HA!) that perhaps it was time that I just start writing some of these things down. Maybe it will reduce some of the clutter meandering around my brain. This could be interesting…or not.

Earlier today, on the way home from wiping down walls and trim in a unit for the company I’m cleaning for, I was thinking about some of the actions and reactions of people. I can’t honestly say that there was anything that prompted the thought thread. Maybe I caught something out of the corner of my eye and, without noting what that was, it got my thoughts to chugging around.

There is this whole ‘spiritual movement’ thing going on these days; Buddha, God, Gods, Godesses, nature, Hinduism (?), Mother Earth. It seems more people are talking about and participating in meditation, yoga, finding connection, praying, etc. and it leads me to wonder about the extreme reactions I have seen in public places that were so much less than ‘spiritual’. Are those that are bestowing the virtues of spiritual connection and the inner peace it brings actually ‘connecting’ or are they finding justification(s) for their desires to act as more than any one else?

The other day, I witnessed a woman telling her friend about how much more “centered” she has felt since she started meditating and praying. This, of course, caught my attention and since we were all standing in the same area waiting for our food to be ready I listened in. (Yeah, I was at McDonalds. It was about 8pm and I was just heading home from work.) She talked about her spiritual path, that she had began starting her day praying for guidance to walk through her day with the greatest good in mind then meditating for about half an hour, envisioning everything that she absolutely had to get done going smoothly, accounting for the possibilities of potential conflict and how she would handle such events, should they occur, in the most spiritual way, with the greatest good of everyone considered. I have to admit I was moderately impressed. Until her food was delivered to her.

She opened her bags to check for accuracy and I guess what she found was not right. I knew immediately as her face pinched a bit that they had gotten her order of food wrong. What came next was completely unexpected.

This ‘more centered’ woman flew up to the counter, nearly knocking other customers out of her way, and loudly attained the attention of the manager, who was obviously quite busy already. The manager smiled at the woman, told her she would be with her in just a moment, then began to turn around to finish placing the items in her hands into a bag. She managed to turn about half way around, hands inside a bag, when the ‘centered’ woman just laid into her.

This woman began belittling the manager, demanding that they not only give her the food she had ordered but that she should be returned part, if not all, of her money for the major inconvenience. The manager handed off the order she had been working on to someone else, came over to the counter to check the woman’s receipt and the food that she was given, apologizing for the inconvenience. As the manager attempted to take the food bag away from the woman so that she could correct it, this woman snatched the bag back, growling something about not giving the food back since they were going to have to throw it away anyway. Ms. Centered then went on to state how horrible this McDonald’s was, that her kids had gotten sick earlier in the week after eating there (and she came back?!), turned around and announced to everyone else that no one should eat there because they would get sick, then turned back to the manager to bellow some more at her.

I have to give the manager some kudos here. I could tell by the multitude of micro expression passing around her face that she would have loved to give this woman something to think about. She calmly tried to handle the situation, attempting to please this very obnoxious and rude customer. Ok. Calmly may not be completely accurate. Though she was speaking evenly, not talking over Ms. Centered despite the fact that Ms. Centered talked over her and cut her off endlessly, this manager remained professional even though she was shaking. Ms. Centered noticed the shaking with pleasure, mistaking it for fear, and pounced. Ms. Centered accused the manager of being scared. When the manager stated she wasn’t scared, nor had any reason to be, Ms. Centered raged “Then why are you shaking?!” The manager’s response: “This is a difficult situation and I am trying to handle it appropriately.” Love it.

So, this centered woman obviously (in my mind) is not as centered as she had professed she is. Her friend had done her best to become part of the decor and was quite embarrassed. The faces of the people in the lobby ranged from disbelief to amusement to disgust. Personally, I felt like asking Ms. Centered why, if her kids had gotten sick earlier in the week after eating there, was she back?

I see stuff like this all of the time: a man wearing a Namaste t-shirt talking on his phone about smashing up someone for cutting him off in traffic; a woman with a mandala tattoo loudly ripping her significant other a new one with their kids in tow. It baffles me. I’m not claiming that I am the role model for spiritual actions/reactions, but how do you proudly claim one thing with your mouth, clothing, body art then do exactly the opposite of what those things represent? I know we all have our moments. Still…I guess I just don’t understand how someone can act this way toward another human being, especially one trying to help with whatever dilemma you have, and then profess they are living a spiritual life. Its confusing, to say the least.

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