The Power of “Good Morning.”

I was walking home from the supermarket this morning, head lowered, brow furrowed, a sullen slowness in my step. My shoulders hunched, my fists in a bunch next to my side.

“Good Morning!” I know I heard him say it, but wasn’t fully present to receive it properly in the thought. He said it again, “Good Morning, my friend.” And I stopped, as though surfacing from sleep, and looked at him almost embarrassed. “I’m so sorry,” I said shaking my head, a simple smile making way through the haze of darker thoughts. “Good morning, to you, too. Have a great day.”

I have had this routine with this man for nearly 2 years, nearly every weekday morning. He’s a traffic guard for the school on the little lane I live. As I’m coming back from my morning shopping, I pass him, and we smile and say “good morning” to each other. It’s a simple interaction between two people who know nothing about each other, but share a certain level of politeness to each other on a daily basis. And you know, I have to say, if I’m late, or early and I miss the part of my routine, it does feel as though something was missing from my morning. Then it dawns on me: that frail moment of politeness in passing has a power to it. It sets the mood for the day, it allows the day to begin with a hint of grace, it starts the day with just enough human connection that it allows a smile to echo silently in the soul. I move on, and that’s that.

IMG_2636But, this morning, I was so wrapped in my whole head about the events of the last few days, that I wasn’t paying attention to that. And I needed to hear that. It snapped me back quickly. Before I moved on, the shadow of anger and frustration dropped off my spirit. I was allowed my usual morning return, these moments I have described so often, and with such heart felt passion, about the early morning sun in spring. I paid attention again to the azaleas and bougainvilleas blooming in striking colors against the vibrant green of palm scaped lawns…. The warmth of the air is cooled just enough, the sun rises to lesser heights, and chirping interests of birds dabble in the distance just soft enough to hear. This is my favorite time of year, and I was missing it….

So, I thought about the last few days and remembered the practice of patience and understanding that I first pursued so long ago. There will always be evil, mean spirited people in the world who band together in mad mobs with the sole purpose of destroying people, and the more you fight them, the more you suffer. When you pursue truth, they promote lies. When you concede to ideas of compassion, they battle back with maliciousness. You will never win when. But, then again, if you remove yourself from their power, then they don’t win either. You have to find some madness in someone who gloats and laughs with pleasure at the promoted destruction of another human being. And I realize there is nothing I can do to soften the blow. They are the embodiment of a psychosis that hurts all of us in this modern world: the narcissistic need to harm someone else to show power. But, I’m not going to do that. I’ll find a greater power in silence and kindness. So, in terms of the last few days, I kindly walk away and will allow that bubble to burst somewhere else. I will not fight back, I will not engage with the deepening sadness that has caused so much hate to flourish. And I urge all of you to do the same.

So, I walk away with a better understanding of what it means to fight back. Refusing to engage is perhaps the the best way to win. I have made my points on the issue, I have pointed out how the situation evolved, then escalated. I have placed blame where I felt it was needed. I have learned that you will never be able to eradicate the things that people say about you, but you can refuse to listen. They may have done an excellent job of ruining my reputation, and harming some of our income, but I will not allow them to harm my spirit.

I am thankful that I have so many supporters, because those supporters have become my friends, a certain quiet kind of family spread all across the globe. We have promoted tolerance and truth in this blog, we have promoted the compassion in our craft, and we have done our best to introduce a new story line to the rest of the world: that you are not alone in this world, no matter how much it can hurt, you always have a place here. To my supporters, I knew you’d stand with me, not only to fight back a horrible injustice, but to allow some civility to reign. To my detractors, and to those that purposely wish to hurt me, or my friends and followers, I can only offer the power of “Good Morning” and wish you well. I am no longer involved in that madness. Do what you will with it, but we are walking away from it feeling we have done what we could with what we have, and at this point, that is simply to offer you will engage us with the same courtesy, for we all that we hope from here is that your smile echoes silently in your soul for the rest of the day if someone offers you just the frailest bit of kindness.

I’m going to spend the day doing what I do best. Writing in my poetic, contemplative way, knitting things that will offer hope to someone in need. So, “Good morning, everyone. Have a wonderful day.”

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21 comments

  1. I am so thankful to hear this. Because fighting back with anger only gives the other side more power. I know how incredibly hard you work at building your business and making a living and I am so very sorry that all of this has happened. I pray that you will be able to keep moving forward. Take heart in knowing that there are so many people rooting for you and wishing you a Good Morning!

  2. It’s amazing how simple interactions can change an attitude about a day, hour or minute.

    Yesterday’s post reminded me that we can’t control people’s behaviour, only our reaction to it. ❤

  3. Good Morning from your family in Fountain Valley, CA. I was just talking about this idea with my husband this morning. You are loved!

  4. Good Morning from Ohio. Even though it is bitterly cold outside, we have SUNSHINE. This could be a metaphor for your past few days.

  5. Good morning to you! Quietly succeeding in life, being happy despite the hate around is possibly the best way to overcome the hate you have experienced.

  6. Good morning to you from the cold north! Enjoy the warm sunshine and beautiful flowers, you are right where you are suppossed to be doing exactly what you are meant to do! I hope you have a joyfull day! xoxo

  7. I have lived a simple view for years now, if people have a problem with me or something else, no matter what they do, they are the one with the problem, not me or anyone else. when that Disney movie Frozen came out, I got dragged to see it with my kids and loved it, but the main song stuck in my head, and I found myself wandering round work singing let it go with hand movements (which amused my pupils heaps) and applying the attitude to my day to day life. Can I change it, yes then do, no then let it go! I also have a mug mat next to my computer that I look at every morning when I get to work saying ‘smile, it makes people worry more.’ I apply it every day. Enjoy your season, your life and know you have no problem!

  8. When my girls encountered mean behavior in school, I advised them to “walk away”, no matter how unjust. There is no reasoning with people who have decided to dislike you. Walk away. You have better things to do.
    Good afternoon from Texas where the sun shines brightly.

  9. I will follow your lead and “let it go”. I do know that these people will only do this to someone else because they will assume they got away with what they did to you. I can only hope that someday they will learn the error of their ways. Blessings.

  10. What an excellent article. It reminds me of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent..

  11. Thank you for the insight. I have been in despair with the vitriol spewed by so-called intelligent adults. You have the right answer.

  12. Good Morning from Boise, Idaho. It is a cold snow covered day but I love it! Glad you are sounding better, chin up head held high and move above the pond scum as I used to tell my children. Enjoy your Sunday.

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