It’s a shame that whether it’s Black Friday or every day in the workplace, we focus time and attention on the people with bad behavior. I’m going to change that today.
I’m back from a Thanksgiving vacation with my family and traveling with two eight year olds is always fodder for a good story or two. By the time we loaded the car, then ran back into the house no less than five times to get the items we had neglected to pack, we were on the way. Five hours and two movies later, we were in the Windy City for an action packed weekend of shopping and tourist sites.
I’ve spent many Black Friday’s on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and never been in a fight, been pepper sprayed or anything tragic. Actually, even with the large crowds, it’s always been a fairly enjoyable experience and I come home with bags of deals. This year was no different. Even the crazy trip to American Girl Place.
You see, my kiddos were with me and my little girl just HAD to go into the American Girl doll store. This involved bringing one of her dolls with her and pretending that baby was there for the experience of a lifetime. After roaming two floors of dolls, clothes, “bitty twins”, books and every doll accessory imaginable, my son and I were longing to go. But wait! We didn’t get dolly’s hair done yet.
Yes, you read that right. We had not visited the salon for dolls so that baby Carleigh could have her pretend hair dampened, brushed, combed, cut and braided. There was much discussion around which color ribbons would be appropriate and also which tiny toe nail stickers baby needed. FOR REAL. People make a ton of money on this stuff, so kuddos to them for thinking of it.
But I digress.
The real hero in all this mess was my son. He is 100% boy and definitely could do without being in that store. But, knowing how much it means to his sister, he was there for her. He listened as she told him about each outfit and hair style. He stood by her side as her doll was styled. He did it to show her that he cares for her, even when it’s something he doesn’t find particularly interesting.
We can all take a lesson from that. When was the last time your spouse or significant other was talking about something important to them but you tuned him or her out? Do you recall the last time a co-worker was excited about a project you had no interest in participating in and you blew that person off?
I’m thankful to have kids that remind me what it takes to show another person kindness. I know that giving my time and interest to a family member or colleague can go a long way in that person’s experience.