Creating Peace in Public

When I go out in public it feels like a magical, spiritual experience. People are so nice to me. They start up meaningful conversations and ask about and compliment our children. I often have cashiers give me deals or take a percent off my bill for no reason other than that they like me, I think. I’m bragging about this so that you can take part in experiencing strangers at their best. How do I achieve this?
The first step is to understand that all people have the potential to love and be joyful. I ask myself “What do I want to inspire out of people?”.
My body language, my tone and my questions are capable of inciting frustration or a desire to help me.
The second thingis to know that people are doing their best with what they have right now. You are capable of giving them more. If they seem crabby or hurried or are making mistakes, it’s not because of me and it is not intentionally perpetrated against me. They may be having a hard day, or a hard life and all the more reason to be extra gentle with them.
The third thing is to consider your words. Use words that demonstrate understanding and a desire to come to a conclusion. I do this by simply describing the problem, there’s no need for judgment or harsh tones. At a restaurant I would say “Hi. I ordered the Hawaiian pizza and I got liver and onions. “. I leave it at that to see what they say. Most often people will want to correct the problem especially if you are kind about it. When I’m returning something that’s broken or I just want to exchange it, if it’s seeming unlikely that they will do it, I’ll just ask “What can we do about it?” rather than place blame or insist I get my way. It also empowers people to gve good customer service and to come up with a solution. I think people often go in frustrated with their product and they identify the employee as the reason for the frustration. The employee usually has nothing to do with the manufacturing process.
Dealing with what you see as an injustice against children: Quite often I come across a parent who is obviously stressed and it is manifesting in what is frustration and aggression with the child. I smile and breath and remind myself that they are doing their best. A harsh look or comment would only further the parents feelings of isolation and anger. Simply harnessing the understanding that they have the potential for joyful parenting often will help the situation alone. Sometimes I will ask “Can I help?”. Or I will say “It’s ok.”. That seems to really help sometimes. I think because we worry so much about what other people think, this tells the stranger that your not judging them. It means that I accept the situation and their feelings. It’s common for strangers to ask me for advice with their children. I think
I’ll start carrying business cards to give out so I can continue to connect with these strangers.
The last thing is make eye contact and say hello. Too much we walk around like other people don’t exist. Draw people out of it with your head up and your heart open.


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