A couple of weekends ago, I went on a weekend trip with my friend, Avenue, and we had ample driving time to talk and discuss life. In one conversation, Avenue said something that I have been thinking about since: “Why are some people so angry and vicious sometimes? What would happen if everyone just funneled all the thought and energy that they put into anger and spite into love and happiness?”
Although I am often a less-than loving person, I have been trying to live by this since. Whenever I am unhappy or mad, I try to take that emotion and focus it into love and happiness and service. I think it is a good practice to live by.
Today, this was brought to my mind again. At work, I got a call from a VERY angry woman, probably the most impassioned one I have ever dealt with. The short of the situation was that she had a $10 ticket from over 2 years ago and demanded that it be waived NOW. Although we have a 14 day window in which you can appeal tickets, my kind boss often still takes appeals that are outside of the window. However, after 6 months or so, the fee goes to a collections agency and the fine is processed: in short, we can’t change it even if we wanted to. I told her this but she refused to listen.
“There MUST be someone who can do something. Life is computerized. Tell the computer to fix the fine or transfer me to someone who can!”
Legally, she has LONG since forfeited her right to appeal this ticket. However, normally I would try to do something to help her, but I couldn’t. No one could. There was nothing that could be done.
To her, the only logical solution then, it would seem, would be to attack me as a person. According to her, I know nothing about the teachings of Christ because I am unmerciful, and I am unintelligent because I don’t know how to use a computer to void her ticket.
“BYU must be pretty up-to date,” she snarled, her words dripping with sarcasm, “if it has computers that can think for themselves and don’t even need people to tell them what to do!”
In all honesty, I felt bad for her. She said she had 6 children, an almost-ex husband that didn’t pay child support, and was unemployed. If I could have done something for her, I would have. If there was someone that could have helped her, I would have gladly transferred her, if only to be done arguing with her. She must have thought I enjoyed being belittled and ruining her life.
Anyway, the point of this post isn’t to tell a story about the ridiculous people I work with or to complain about being complained to, but to remember to be happy. Happiness is a choice. And why would you choose to be bitter and ornery and cruel when you could take the time you are focused on yourself and your problems to love others and spread joy?
Food for thought.