So often we verbalize our frustration at the little inconveniences that life brings us. The car who cut us off while merging into the next lane, the lady who is in front of us at the grocery store with an overflowing cart, the customer service rep who needs to pass you on to his supervisor. Our children witness our frustration and learn that this is the way of the world.
Recently, my 18 year old son reminded me that I wasn’t as tolerant of others as I professed to be. He cited examples of reactions he witnessed while growing up. To say I was embarrassed, is an understatement. However, he was correct and I need to own my behavior. In an effort to change it going forward it and to reframe how I deal with these minor inconveniences, I am going to try to look for ways to be grateful for each one of them.
Thank you to the teenager who cut me off while I was trying to merge into the next lane on the freeway, you reminded me to be attentive when driving and not to let my mind wonder. I am grateful to the lady in front of me at the grocery store with an overflowing cart, you forced me to slow down and gave me time to think about the rest of my day. Thanks to the customer service representative who passed me on to his supervisor, you caused me to remember to treat everyone respectfully.
As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s challenge ourselves to be grateful for the minor inconveniences life brings us. It may change the way we approach each day and will certainly model kinder and more tolerant behavior to our children.
Sue Penn is a contributing writer to kiddish magazine.