Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Efficiency vs. Kindness

If you had to choose, which of these do you prefer; efficiency or kindness? That probably depends on whether you are on the giving or receiving end of the equation. People tend to consider themselves to be good and therefore the automatic reaction is most likely "kindness". But don't be so quick to answer! Think about different situations and what each calls for. For example, if you are at a restaurant, it goes unsaid that you'd like to have a waiter or waitress that is kind. However, you want him/her to be efficient as well. Now, if that really kind waitress fails to keep your glass full, gets your order wrong and then ends her service by giving you the wrong ticket, will you overlook it simply because she was kind? I'm not referring to the occasional tough day had by all. Instead, this is the type of service that you can take at face value, realizing that its a normal day for this waitress. In that exact same situation, would you have noticed if that waitress was sour, as long as she kept your glass full, answered all your questions, delivered your food exactly as it was ordered and appeared with the ticket with precise timing, almost as if she came and went unnoticed? I know what my answer is! What then, does this say about me? It says that when given a choice, I prefer efficiency and that's all. There really is not much else to add to it. I expect the most of people so ideally, I'd expect them to be efficient AND kind while doing so. However, recognizing that God gave us all strengths, weaknesses and preferences, I stand very clearly on the side of efficiency. Think about different situations in your life and what you prefer. Can you be both kind and efficient at the same time? What about those times in which it is you who is choosing to be one or the other? What would people say about your service?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Evaluating my Views

I'm not one to get into political discussions but feel it necessary to share my recent enlightenment on the unlikely chance that it may change some one's future visit to the polls. I first debated whether or not to share the specifics of how this occurred, afraid the focus might shift to a particular political figure or party. I decided instead to share the general idea, in hopes that you the reader will get where I'm going with this. While listening to the evening news one night, I overheard a sometimes controversial political figure tell a reporter very frankly that what they were asking was none of their business. My first reaction was shock, not just in the bluntness of the answer but in the fact that he was not willing to offer an explanation to the question. Although it was in reference to what might be considered his "private" life, that was not the issue. That is a different story altogether and one that I could spend too much time on debating (and of course I will in a later post). The point was that he made a choice for his family that some argued made him inadequate to be knowledgeable about a different choice. Let me explain. Obviously, this would have been easier had I been willing to share the specific story! The person asking the question was implying that if you do not have a personal experience with something, then you can't possibly have a valuable opinion on the subject. Ponder that for just a moment. I'm sure that anyone reading this would consider themselves to be at least of average intelligence and therefore able to make a decision about something based on observations, and research. Then why is it that we would automatically assume that because someone is making a different choice that they can't possibly understand the reasoning for ours? I believe that I am open minded and considerate and I'm sure you think the same about yourself and that allows us to have opinions on and vote on things that we may not have any personal affiliation with. This particular example left me with a lesson I had not yet learned in my 30+ years. I will not be quick to judge someone else's ability to understand what I am going through simply because that person has not had the same experience. God gave us all the ability to be compassionate and have empathy that should be used to make all of our decisions involving others!