Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lessons From Real Life: Practicing the Golden Rule

In customer service, of course, of course, it's true to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. But there's something about this I-You relationship (okay, you must read I and Thou by Martin Buber, as I am for my Theological Existentialism class) that is beyond general politeness: it's where we step off from our high horse and realize that perhaps other people's greatest desires are not so different from our own, and we should act in consideration of that.

For example, it's happened many times at work when someone orders a very expensive cake for their infant's first birthday, and is very picky and perhaps a little neurotic about the whole ordeal.

In the back of the shop, my boss will roll her eyes and remark about how absolutely selfish humanity is, or about these crazy new moms, or how everyone just expects her to do everything they want, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum.

At first I reacted in a similar, cynical fashion. But I've certainly tired of it. I can't help be realize, that, geez, these people just want to do something really nice for another person. And they want it done perfectly, in the best way possible, just because they want the best for this person.

It's idealistic, and I realize that many people ordering extraordinary cakes for painfully ordinary events perhaps are doing it for less than humble reasons. Nevertheless, something in me wants to think that people generally have good intentions--or perhaps the Biblical aphorism my mother always tells us (particularly when we're having to do chores!): Do everything without complaining or arguing. That, by itself, is a lesson from real life to remember.

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