Innocent til proven guilty
I go to the 25-cent-a-gallon water store because I am far too superior a person to drink water from those little plastic bottles and wreck the environment BECAUSE I CARE ABOUT THE CHILDREN, unlike some of you people.
No, really I buy water by the gallon because
1. It is cheap and I am cheap
2. I always have 10 gallons of water on hand in case of earthquake. It’s California, people.
So there I am, waiting for this woman to get done filling her bottles and she has all different sizes and shapes, quite a few bottles. She’s shuttling them back and forth to the car and I’m just standing there, not even sighing or rolling my eyes even though she is taking forever, because I’m really cool like that.
She finally gets done, I assume, but I’m not 100% sure because of all the shuttling and whatnot, so I ask “All done?”
She turns to me with Eyes of Fury® and says in a menacing Eastern European kind of accent “Yes. Yes. NOW I am done.” She gets in her car and slams the door, hard.
I was taken aback. I wasn’t saying “You crazy-looking slow wench who is wasting my whole night waiting for you, are you ALL DONE?”
Rather, I was TRYING to say “All done? Because I am an extremely polite person who would never, ever want to butt in on your important bottle filling.”
One of my favorite A Course in Miracles lessons says:
“You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them.”
One of the most maddening things in life is to make an offer in kindness, and have the receiver assume it is malicious.
Some of the biggest fights I have had with exes were over this. I thought I was buying the right kind of toilet paper because my kind was cheap and lasted a long time and he thought I was being an inconsiderate jerk and trying to exfoliate his tenderest parts with cardboardy toilet paper, so we ended up screaming at each other in the supermarket parking lot. Nice.
The other day someone complained on Twitter that the other PTA moms never expected the working-outside-the-home moms to bring cookies, just cups and plates. They said the PTA moms were “mean.”
Flip the coin over and assume innocence. Offer some lilies instead of thorns. Just maybe the PTA moms were trying to reduce the time burden on women they knew were pressed for time? Wouldn’t that be better?
Assuming that people are behaving from innocence is a good way to live because you’ll be right about 95% of the time and people appreciate it if they see you seeing them in a good light.
You might get fooled every once in a while, but hopefully your Spidey sense will kick in at those rare moments.
Thorns or lilies? Take your pick.
PS Only I can incorporate toilet paper into a Deep Spiritual Lesson®. Also? I know those are irises, not lilies, but those are pretty ones, huh? I bought the tubers for my mom and she made them grow.