Wisdom Story – 138

by Paul on February 1, 2013

I walked with a friend to the newsstand the other night, and he bought a paper, thanking the owner politely. The owner, however, did not even acknowledge it.

“A sullen fellow, isn’t he?” I commented as we walked away.

“Oh, he’s that way every night,” shrugged my friend.

“Then why do you continue being so polite to him?” I asked.

And my friend replied, “Why should I let him determine how I’m going to act?”

Source

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon February 1, 2013 at 7:31 am

Well that is absolutely true. Being who we want to be and not letting the environment impact on our behaviour is a test. Unfortunately I am all too willing to give a bit of negative feedback if someone is rude to me :-(

Hopefully, with God’s help, we can all have a weekend full of positive feedback – whatever the provocation :-)

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Simon,

Let it be so!

Paul

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Andie February 1, 2013 at 9:53 am

I love this story! If only we could adopt that attitude throughout our day. If only we could always remember who (whose) we are – no one would be able to rob us of our inner peace and joy.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Andie,

Yes, this is a wisdom story that contains real wisdom!

Paul

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Fran Rossi Szpylczyn February 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I love this – so true. How we hand things over to others so easily, and then blame them, when we can choose to stand in the light, no matter what.

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annette February 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm

Amen, we can always “choose to stand in the light”.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Fran,

Yep. The blame game. I play it all the time, I’m afraid.

Paul

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claire February 1, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Thank you for reminding me. May this spirit of goodness guide me always.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Claire,

May that good spirit guide all of us.

Paul

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Maura February 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm

We have a similar saying in our family “Don’t let yourself become what you stand against.”
I know in the world of politics it seems simplistic but I often wonder if we are not as a nation becoming in our foreign relationships what we say we stand against.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Maura,

What a great saying you have in your family. Bravo!

Paul

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Jim February 1, 2013 at 7:08 pm

The foreign-policy perspective came immediately to my mind, too. One of the classic excuses for human cruelty is that the horrible thing we’re doing to our enemy is no worse than what they would do to us, given the chance. Another is that doing the right thing is a luxury we cannot currently afford. (People who invoke this excuse must find the cost of morality very high, indeed, for they never think we can afford it.)

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Lynda February 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

There is such a life lesson in this for we allow our culture to determine what we do all the time rather than being counter-cultural. Imagine what would happen in our world if all who follow Jesus began to live like Jesus – if we all truly saw people and truly listened.

Have a blessed weekend everyone.

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Lynda,

Imagine indeed…

Paul

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annette February 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Amen! Or as I tell my kids how you react to people says more about you than about them…be kind. I think the sullen ones are the ones who need that the most anyway.

“Love those who are unlovable or it is not love at all”

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Paul February 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Annette,

Love the quote – who’s it from? Mother Teresa?

Paul

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Jim February 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm

“Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all – and to hope means hoping when things are hopeless, or it is no virtue at all.” -Gilbert K. Chesterton

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annette February 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm

I have carried this with me since I was really young, so I didn’t know off hand. I assumed it was Mother Teresa but I googled it and it was GK Chesterton. I am sure I have heard it from Mother Teresa too but it must be that she was quoting him! And the actual quote ends “or it is no virtue at all.” I am pretty excited that Chesterton has been sealed on my heart for so long! Didn’t see that coming. :)

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Katy February 1, 2013 at 4:41 pm

I must confess that I would have been less than pleasant after the first time!

Happy positivity to all.

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Emma February 1, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Vendors and store clerks and such, I can shrug off. It’s those who I expect more from that can elicit a less than loving response from me. I’d like to think that I’m better than that, but a rude or sullen remark from someone that I’m close to can ruin my day. :(

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Jim February 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm

I’m right there with Emma. I can overlook rudeness from someone I’m not close to. I can assume the best about them. If it’s my wife who’s being sullen, though, my first response is always defensive anger.

I’m learning to check that anger and concern myself with her problems, but it still often takes me 15 minutes or so to even think about not being mad.

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Emma February 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

How did you know that I was talking about my husband?? My issue is that what can be something so insignificant will be the something that I’ll carry all day long. The “little ” thing in the morning grows throughout the day and by the time we meet up again, the little has become monumental!! He, on the other hand, is past it!! My mantra, ” You don’t even remember??? ” Only makes me more angry that he’s forgotten all about it, while I wasted my whole day absorbed in that one unpleasant passing moment.

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