Thursday, September 26, 2013

"He has no morals"

With a new regular walking route added to my repertoire come more people to meet and greet... and be harassed by. The other day, for whatever reason, I changed up my usual reproach to the "Hey, honey!" and "Ooh Baby!" which fill my ears as I walk with my offspring through the streets of this lovely city. The results were surprising.

A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.

― Bahá'u'lláh

There it is. Plain as day. Speak sweetly. I definitely struggle with my vicious, malicious mouth and find it extremely difficult to button my trap when I feel provoked. Did I mention that I often feel provoked? So, ColmadoDude, like so many before him, tossed his sleazy line at me the other morning. And while I had a full line-up of sharp, carefully crafted comebacks to take him out at the knees, for whatever beautiful reason, the following gentile words came out:
"Please don't speak to me that way."

I kept walking, in complete shock at my own reaction. How civil and unlike you, Rebecca!
Having dropped off the kids at school, I turned around and headed back, fully expecting ColmadoDude to have a few things to say. Afterall, I'd responded so politely I must have been seen as a weak, easy target, right?
Nothing. Nada. He held his tongue and I moved right past (He has also held his tongue for the last several days since said incident).
Across the street, a toothless, aged man in raggedy clothes approached me, mumbling something. I paused to give him my attention, expecting him to ask for money.

"That guy likes to get fresh with people. He has no morals," Toothless shook his head.

Not ten minutes after congratulating myself on my kindly tongue (which wasn't even particularly kindly), I'm judging people. Is that like one step forward and three steps back?

"Uh-huh," I responded, surprised, "Well, sometimes you just need to tell people its not okay to talk to you that way." I guess, right? Since I've never taken that approach before.

"Yes. Yes, you do," he nodded and ambled past me. Toothless has greeted me joyfully and kindly each morning since. Stand up guy, he is and I'm glad he has now deemed me worthy of conversation.

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