In another’s shoes. Part One

Have you ever been walking through the shop and came across a woman who is in the worst of moods? Or have you ever been driving and someone almost rode into you whilst they were speeding through traffic? Have you ever tried to dodge the homeless person at an intersection? Let’s admit it, we all do these things, but why? Is it human nature to judge?

I want to write about the moody lady in the grocery store. One day I was doing my shopping. I happened to notice a very angry woman arguing with one of the staff that worked at the grocery store. Later through my shopping, this same lady, was arguing with her children. As I made my way to the cashier, this lady landed up in front of me and she was giving the cashier a hard time too. I couldn’t help but think how much I don’t like this woman, how I didn’t want to turn out like her one day, how grumpy she was, how lucky was I to be a shopper at this store and not an employee. Months went by and I forgot all about this lady until one day, I was sitting in my church cell group and we got into a discussion about first impressions. It really got me thinking a whole lot. I even decided at that moment that I wanted to start blogging to help people understand the bigger picture. I decided that instead of jumping to conclusions I would try and put myself in others shoes. I knew that I physically could not do it, but I was going to try and think of possible reasons as to why she was behaving the way she was.

I remember one day I had to rush off to the shops for my parents. I had such a difficult day because my kids were sick and miserable. The entire day I had whining and crying. Those two things alone can drive almost anyone crazy. So here I was, quickly driving off to grab some last minute things for my parents. I got to the shops and when I reached for a trolley, I got the trolley with a wonky wheel, but I was in such a hurry that I just endured the wonky wheel and kept going. That day it seemed like everyone was walking in slow motion. I was getting so impatient with people that I was huffing and puffing behind them and the first chance I got a gap I would speed right passed like I was running a race. When I got to the till, one of the items I was buying was a completely wrong price. So the cashier calls the supervisor, who also seems to be working in slow motion. The cashier explains the issue to the supervisor, who then sends the packer to go and collect the correct barcode. I’m still standing the tapping and puffing with my eyes twitching. People stared at me and my terrible behaviour. Finally the packer returned and the Supervisor sorted out the issue and I was able to pay and leave this terrible shop for once and for all.

Looking back I realized how pathetic my behaviour was in the shop and I am in no way trying to condone my behaviour at all, but if those other shoppers and the cashier, supervisor and packer had experienced the same day as me, they might have understood why I had behaved the way I did.

So back to the grumpy lady at the grocery store, I was that same lady a couple of months later. Maybe her children were sick and miserable too. Maybe her and her husband had been in an argument regarding the finances. Maybe she had an issue at work. Maybe she is fighting depression. We just don’t know what’s going on in other people’s lives, maybe we could show some kindness and sympathy and understanding. You don’t have to condone the behaviour, but maybe your kind smile or word could change that person’s whole day. I love this saying “Don’t hate the sinner, hate the sin.” Its Gods job to judge us, we just need to love people the way Jesus loves us. It’s not easy, but give it a try today as you go about doing your errands. I have decided that before I jump to conclusions I’m going to start showing kindness instead-I would of given anything for someone to come up to me and tell me that everything was going to be alright.