Figuring out how to be pleasant even in the midst of life’s little annoyances can be a bit of a challenge.
Fortunately, humans are wired for challenge. “Fight or flight” could be adapted somewhat to become “Fight or flight… or fix it.” Or “Find the humor in it” or maybe even “Hey, maybe I could take a deep breath, remember that nearly everyone is doing the best they can with what they’ve got to work with,” and bring an unexpected smile into the day.
My friend Tom Hale is a resolute master at that. He’ll find some grouch having a bad morning behind the counter at the convenience store and figure out some way to make that situation better. It might be something like “I bet you can’t wait to get up every day and come over here to make coffee for a bunch of smiling cheerful people like us.” Or it could be “You know, you really did a good job of dealing with that grouchy fellow that came in here yesterday.” When the clerk asks, “Who do you mean?” Tom will likely as not say, “That was me but I was wearing my rude teenager disguise” or “Oh, I’m sorry; it was me but I was pretending to be Doc Arnett.”
They’ll both end up smiling and the next several people in line will get a more pleasant start to their day.
Wouldn’t it be cool if we all decided to start looking for chances to help other people have a more pleasant day? It would be quite a challenge but I reckon we could do it. And you know, there really is already enough anger in the world. Enough to last a lifetime.