Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

Anger and a lesson learned

I am not sure if it’s the relentless  summer heat or if it’s part of aging, as suggested by my friend,  but my patience well has been quite dry lately.  In other words, I find myself way more easily irritated.  I couldn’t even stand hearing myself when I gave in to these petty annoyances as it’s impossible to shove angry words back in once they have been callously spat and sputtered out.

A few days ago, I was paying for some items at a store.  The cashier, exuding sour attitude with her every gesture and word, got to me.  As she proceeded to carelessly toss every item into the plastic bag,  I felt the ugly urge to express my displeasure.  Regularly, I would have just ignored it because I hate confrontation of any kind.  But at that moment, I just spilled out, “What is the problem? Are you having a bad day or something?!”  I fully intended to tell her off.  But, she heard it differently.

She paused, looked at me and said in a shaky voice, “Yes, it has been a terrible few days. My life is a mess.  Hot mess. You have no idea.  No one understands.”  She just shook her head, looked down and finished up the transaction.  Just as she handed me the receipt, she said, “Thank you for asking.”  Still stunned, I managed to mumble some well wishes before leaving the store.  I sat in the car for a bit to soak in what just transpired.  The sorrow and desperation in her voice had stayed with me.  I felt regret and humbled for this one fortunate misunderstanding.  I wish I could just apologize to her but I couldn’t.  Truth is, it doesn’t matter if I have my reasons for being so quick to anger.  No one should ever have to suffer me.

Everything we say and do carry weight.  They bear consequences, some more than others, of course.  Not only do we determine the kind of days we have, we can also determine what kind of days others are having as well, even those of strangers who barely cross path with us. Every day, we can choose between uplifting those around us or adding to their misery.  We can choose to be compassionate and understanding or hurtful and unhelpful.  The decision fully lies with us.

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of.   There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

~ Mr. Rogers

Have a wonderful weekend!


*Featured image by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash




25 thoughts on “Anger and a lesson learned

  1. Amazing! And don’t be hard on yourself. There’s beauty and as you said, a lesson in all things. You got so much more than you were able to give the cashier. She was able to tell you what was the matter and you were able to gain such great perspective as you so well wrote in the post. When I read how she was handling your merch, I thought, how rude?! But then when she told you what was going on, I realized how I lacked compassion in pre-judging her, thinking she was being rude. Thank you for this! 😊🙏🏽

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thank you for making the time to read the post and for your thoughtful comments, as always. The encounter was a gift of a reminder for me, you are right. It’s indeed very hard not to simply react to things according to one’s own logic and temperament at the moment…but it is nice if we can step back sometimes and just try to understand the other person’s perspective. Easier said than done, of course. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Of course. But at least we can learn from experience and try to do better next time. Life is about learning from experience or from others! I think it’s when we ourselves are going through something, especially stressful, anything can trigger us having a negative and not so pleasant reaction towards someone else. It happens, as you said, we just have to be mindful before we speak – try.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. Wise words indeed. It reminds me of the story we covered for GCSE English (An Inspector Calls) where each member of the family had impacted a young girls life. I think as we get older we get more vocal about standing up for ourselves and everyone often is taking care of themselves (or immediate friends/family) that we are too busy to acknowledge those around us. Thank you for reminding us to treat others kindly, even strangers. X

    Liked by 4 people

    • You are right to say that as we get older, we do start focusing more on the self, on our own pain. Thinking about others’ pain and perspectives may not come as naturally. Thank you for reading and for sharing your thoughts + experiences. Have a great weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Wonderful post! I feel badly for both of you that you’re struggling right now but what an important encounter for you to share! Whenever I feel impatient or frustration at someone’s behaviour like that, my motto is ‘everyone has their own story’. We have no idea what might be going on with someone else to make them act less than pleasantly, but every person is doing the best job they can with the tools they have been given. That includes you, so don’t be hard on yourself. It’s not like you were rude and called her names, you reached out because she was asking for attention with her negative behaviour. Like a human being should. 💕

    Liked by 4 people

    • Well put. Thank you for this wonderful perspective for the comforting words. Yes, we are all just trying our best and sometimes we fall short, coz we are humans at the end of the day. As long as we never stop striving and trying, we’ll all get there. Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Good morning. It is Saturday morning in Mumbai, India: and this is the first piece I have read today. You have re affirmed what I always believed to be the truth about how we are always trying to reach out to each other. I am glad that your piece of writing came my way. It has set the tone to the rest of the day. Thank you. Have a blessed day.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Good morning! I am so honored that the post was your first read of the day and your words mean a lot to me. I am just ending my day here in the U.S. and I feel thankful that we have connected across the seas. What a great way for me to end the day. Have a wonderful start to your weekend. Thank you for stopping by, for reading and for your kind words.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stuffs like this happens and it’s the courage to keep going that really matters. This is a great lesson for everyone. Thanks for sharing. I Like what you do here. Looking forward to connect with you.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Whenever this hapens to me (when I speak my mind) it always backfires and I get into a yelling fest. Really glad that hadnt been the case for you. But had been received positively by the cashier. Ah, a good moment in the end for her, though. Hope u were able to have a much better encounter with her next time she rings you up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sandmoos, it could have easily turned into a something quite ugly, I think…if not for the fact that she heard me wrongly. It can be so hard to hold back, I agree… I never saw her again at the store actually. Maybe she got a different job. I hope things have gotten better for her. Thank you for reading, Sandmoos. Your comments mean a lot to me. 🙏🏼 Have a wonderful week ahead, my friend.


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