Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
I rarely share quotes from a fictional context....wait, what am I talking about, I do that on a regular basis! For those of you that know me, I think I am a virtual savant when it comes to movie quotes, kind of like Sheldon Cooper is with comic books. Anyways, after some observations in the past few weeks, I feel this quote is fitting. Why you ask??? Well here you go.
I sometimes ask myself (and others) if humanity is dying? Well it's not...at least I don't think so. Whether it is the greeter at Walmart or the "thank you's" that you hear or say, they are reminders that people do care about each other. The other day I watched my little girl, the diva who sometimes will make you so mad you could cuss, hold the door open for people at a restaurant. As small of a gesture as that is, it made me feel good to know that our values are being passed along to our kids. I don't want to leave my son out either, I have seen good signs there as well.
Have you ever been disgusted (mad, sad...enter your word) only to be revived by some act, statement, or something that gives you a good vibe about the world? What about vice versa? For example, I was cruising down an old winding road one afternoon, listening to music...well, probably not listening, but you get the idea. As I rounded a curve, a hearse and funeral procession were coming the other way. I failed to stop as soon as I wanted too...and as soon as they wanted me too. I always stop for funeral processions! It is the right thing to do, whether you know them or not. This time, I didn't, not because I was being disrespectful but I simply did not see it coming. Long story short...the people right behind the hearse were irate to say the least! I was told I was "number 1" by everyone in the car and I could tell the words coming out of their mouths were not nice. All because I didn't do something I normally did.
I felt awful! I felt awful for awhile after that. I wanted to turn around and follow them to tell them that I did stop, and I did not mean to disrespect them. What good would that do? Would they accept the apology? Would they want to fight me? Here is something interesting though...I felt awful for them too. Even though I knew I did nothing wrong. But I didn't feel bad for the same reasons they did...I felt bad because of the way the felt about me. Sounds selfish, I know but hear me out.
At that very moment that we crossed paths, they had hatred in their eyes, mouths...and fingers (middle to be exact). They didn't know me, they didn't know that I always stop at funeral processions. They didn't even know how bad I felt after that incident. Whether it was a function of the situation they were in or they simply had hatred in their heart, I do not know. What I do know is that is a pretty common reaction in today's world when things are not happening like we think they should. Whether it is the middle finger on the highway, or the bad attitude towards the cashier, or the bad attitude towards the customer, or the...shall I go on...people tend to jump to conclusions and start pointing fingers (sometimes middle). People live on edge, ready for the next negative thing to happen.
What do we do??? The answer to that is simple...stay out of that negative mindset. Try to always find the positive. It does seem hard to battle that each and everyday but try to find the good in people, they are there. Don't allow others to push their negativity on you. So...when you do feel like humanity is gone, try to look for those good deeds, in fact, why don't you do a good deed. It may make you feel better?? Make sure your positive statements, actions, interactions outnumber the negatives...Willy Wonka would be proud.