I wish rude and polite behavior were simple button choices but as you know, they are not. Let me tell you a story.
Not too long after Mary and I got married, we were quietly standing in line together at the grocery store. Suddenly, in the distance we could hear them coming––what sounded like a pack of wild animals fighting to the death. What actually appeared was a mom and her three kids, all the kids were under the age of seven, who were arguing over what cereal to buy.
A box was being passed around between the two tallest children while the younger one screamed with hands stretched toward the heavens and feet rapidly pounding the floor.
Mom was pushing the basket leisurely around the corner while reading a food label on an item she had just taken from the shelf. She appeared unfazed by the volume and the antics.
She calmly placed the item she was holding into her basket and got in line behind us. The tantrum over the cereal box had moved on to claim new territory: the gum and candy display that the horrible people at the grocery store had so conveniently placed alongside the checkout line. Now the loud dispute centered around the choice of gum and quickly escalated into a situation involving at least one headlock. Mom, again apparently not fazed by the uproar, casually thumbed through a magazine.
Mary and I were stunned. It was at that moment in my married-with-no-children brain that I not only thought, but uttered the wordsRead More