/> Raising Angels: Thou Shalt Not Condemn

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thou Shalt Not Condemn

Today I had to stop by a fabric store to buy some plastic to cover my new (okay 7 months old) bar stools. I had the two older boys with me thankfully because the bolt of plastic was HEAVY.

They helped me tote the thing up to the gigantic cutting counter and then we waited several minutes to be served. Being boys, they were very inventive in their efforts to entertain themselves. By the time the lady came to cut the piece for me they were in the process of shoving the wooden pole back and forth through the bolt to each other.

They were not being loud. They were not hurting anyone. They were being boys and quite frankly, I was happy with that. Suddenly, the employee working next to ours walked over and literally grabbed the pole out one of the boy's hands and gave them and me a look that sent chills down my spine. I hate to say it but it was a truly evil look.

That was it. There were no words, no warnings, no explanations. The lady that was working with me finally finished and we got out of there as quick as we could. Fortunately, the boys were totally unaware that the lady had given them the look of death and were unfazed. I however, could not get that look out of my mind.

Later, as I was covering my chairs the face came back to me and I shuddered. I was so unpeaceful. Finally I picked up the phone and had a very logical conversation with the manager. I basically told her what happened and that I would have appreciated a warning of some kind - a few words like, "Could you please stop that?" The manager was very apologetic and agreed with me and I hung up the phone feeling very glad that I had made the call.

I felt better, but I continued to think about it. Condemnation is not a good method of getting your point across (even if you are right). Instead of motivating a person to change, you aggravate them into wanting to do whatever they can to make you pay for how you made them feel - not good for either party.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a recent Sunday, John fell asleep on the way to Mass. We tried to put him in the nursery (our usual practice), but he half woke up and cried and cried. We brought him into Mass. He behavior was fair - we did lots of redirecting and shushing. In the middle of Mass an older couple in front of us looked at each other and walked to another part of the church. I was mortified.

You're right. Nastiness helps neither the children nor the parents.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Amy Parris said...

Maybe I should just keep a big mirror in my purse and hold it up to such people :)

6:10 PM  

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