Apr 24, 2017

Conversation in the park

It was a sunny Saturday evening. We (husband, daughter D and I) decided to go to a park as D loves to play in the play area. Being a Saturday, it was crowded and the play equipments (swing, see-saw, slide etc) were lined up with children. D was so excited that she was shouting “yay” on top of her voice. I followed her around as she started to climb up the slide. Husband walked up to me slowly and was looking a little worried. I asked him, “what happened? You look tense”. He showed me his phone with an email open. Without getting into further details, let’s just say, it was a stinker email from someone whose ego was hurt and was venting out his frustrations. More on the lines of “How dare could someone do this to me?”.

I was telling my husband to let it go and not give too much of a thought. With such an arrogant, rude and authoritative tone of that email, it was hard to put it aside your mind and enjoy the evening. Meanwhile, D got upset with two boys who were sliding down fast, without giving her a chance. The mother of the two boys noticed that D was sad. She walked up to her and said, “What happened, dear? Do you want to climb the slide too? I’ll tell the boys to wait”. D then got her chance but she wasn’t happy yet. She then started crying that she wanted the swing and see-saw too. Both my husband and I tried to convince her that she needs to wait for her turn but she was adamant. The kind lady spoke to D and calmed her down. She then asked her son to play with D on the see-saw. The boy also obliged happily. The lady then introduced herself as a teacher and was having a nice conversation with D. Her words were kind and pleasant. Her actions were proactive and calm. She could have just spent her time with her two boys but instead she voluntarily decided to calm a young girl and talk to her.

The difference between these two conversations made us wonder why such positive communications are rare and few.

We are ready to lash out rude, cynical and negative thoughts on email, social media and text messages, without a wink. If only we could take a few minutes to re-read what we have written and think whether we would say the same thing to the intended person in front of their face, many ruthless emails could have been avoided.

Maybe, I’m generalizing and stereo-typing, but my experiences so far have led me to this bitter truth - “the more you go high up in the bank balance ladder, the bigger your ego builds up

In this ever-connected world of smart phones, emails and social media, all it takes is one email to spoil a beautiful evening with family. Let’s try to curb the urge to check our emails on the go, atleast during weekends. Our families deserve our undivided attention, especially our children.

Last but not the least, a kind word or a gesture can be such a powerful, positive boost to someone in need. The teacher’s kind gesture took our minds completely away from the effects of the nasty email. We felt happy and relaxed later that evening. Let’s spread more such kind words and actions. The society needs them badly.

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