Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Yeah, Me and the LDS
I think it is the Church of the Latter Day Saints that runs a TV commercial I'm thinking of. A young woman helps an older lady to cross the street. The camera pans to a guy in a work truck noticing significantly. Cut To: The guy from the truck helping a woman who has dropped her groceries. The camera pans to a man noticing significantly. Cut To: The second man helping someone who . . . You get the idea. And you've probably seen the commercial. I think it is the Mormons. Regardless, it is some church suggesting that we ought to be nice to each other; help each other; care about each other.
Many people think that Buddhism is simply "living in the moment." That is almost it but what it really is is doing the right thing at this very moment. Knowing yourself well enough, dropping your trivial likes and dislikes, getting to the heart of you. Then making good choices. However, since we are all one, doing the right thing for you at this very moment is, actually, doing the right thing for the universe at this very moment. This is where I find myself agreeing with the LDS or whomever airs the ad.
It wouldn't be that hard to be a little nicer to people. Maybe its the election cycle, but I think we've lost our way. People are just being nasty. We've lost our sense of community and our honor. We need to care about and take care of each other.
Most often I am driving down the highway with the CB off. I turn it on when I need it; in a traffic jam, in bad weather or at a big warehouse facility. On a daily basis, people are just stupid and ugly on the CB. There are plenty of exceptions but MAN! Take it easy, people!
Ohio is a bad place for racist crap on the CB. Today, the discussion was how long Obama would last in office, because someone was just going to shoot him. There were volunteers. It made me sick. Finally, before turning it off, I told them I hoped Barack would make Jesse Jackson Vice President. "None of you stupid MFers could shoot him then, could ya?!??." I felt better. Actually, I felt better when it was off. Damn traffic jam got me all worked up. Then a couple guys suggested they needed some practice and might start by hunting me down. Yeah, time to go.
I pulled into a truckstop tonight. In line at the fuel desk to get a shower, the girl behind the counter is Generation "Why Me." She has the thingy in her nose, a tat on the inside of her wrist. She is having trouble and bristling with attitude. Come to find out, they have updated the computer system and some of the items aren't entered yet. One driver gave up when a case of bottled water just wouldn't ring up. He actually put it back on the shelf. The managers are gone, the girl is alone in the store. It isn't all generational. She isn't getting the support she needs. My buddy Jim and I were always pushing for training and support during system changes where I used to work. We often wrote instructions and did training. I could feel for her.
The showers are being remodeled as well, so I have to go out to a trailer in the parking lot to clean up. I had a great idea on the way back in.
It really is more work to be a complainer. And, it comes back on you eventually when you don't help others. It is so simple to be cheerful and helpful. And it really isn't that much extra work. Like Willie Nelson sang "It's the little things that mean a lot."
Let me tell you about an Ol' Trucker Trick I know, to show you how easy it is.
Back in the store, the poor girl is snarling in frustration. She might have an attitude, but tonight, she deserves to. I'm sure she doesn't get paid nearly enough to deal with a bunch of cantankerous truckers who have to shower out in the parking lot, and can't even buy water. A couple guys walk by with duffel bags, not believing that the showers are outside. I told them it was the hose around the corner. "You just hold it over your head." :o)
Back to my fuel desk girl. She snarls because some older trucker brought his wife in who also needs a shower. Now they have to reconnoiter the trailer to get her in there.
"Man, I need some chocolate. What do you recommend?" I ask up at the counter.
She pauses, almost not understanding, but recovers to suggest a Take Five bar.
"What are they like?" faking I've never had one.
"Oh, it's peanuts and caramel and a pretzel or something crunchy like that." She is just glad to be able to empty her mind of the store issues; she's getting into it now. "I really like them," she adds at the end.
Bingo, I've got her right where I want her.
"Back in the middle aisle," she shouts as I wander toward the junk food.
I bring two King Size Take Five bars back. There are five people, counting the old couple, hanging around waiting for a shower. The unease just kind of hangs around the place. I drop the bars on the counter and start shuffling through my wallet.
"Two Ninety Eight."
I hand her three ones and then push one of the bars across the counter. "This ones for you. Maybe your night will get better," I say.
"Oh, WOW! Thanks!" She smiles wide and chuckles. It's like a whole different person showed up. Now that's magic. And I didn't have to saw anyone in half.
As I walk out the door, I hear my two pennies drop in the "Need a Penny?" dish. The old trucker's wife is smiling at me as I pass. And just as I push the door open, I can hear the rustle of a Take Five wrapper.
Try it you'll like it. The candy bar's not bad either.