Sunday, May 15, 2016
"HUMBLE AND KIND" BoTB
In my current merchandising job it is sometimes ~difficult~ to be "humble and kind." I meet all sorts of people: kind, rude, arrogant, helpful, bullies, helpless, eccentric, loving, impatient, considerate; but mostly, indifferent. I never know who I'll meet at the Love's stores, the hotels I stay, the restaurants I eat at, general stores I shop.
And you know, I'm not always at my best/most friendly either. I've had days I've been bullied, over-worked and impatient, late, or just plain feeling sore and out of sorts. Its amazing how quickly those social worker/people friendly skills can desert me in this hectic, business oriented environment.
I am still listening to people's complaints with the expectation that I can "fix" whatever the "crisis" is: why did you order . . when do I get the newest . . I don't have enough . . I have too much . . I need . . I want . . DON'T!
My employers have rules and policies; my customer have needs and desires. Where oh where is that happy medium?
Although my profession - and thus my "clients" - has drastically changed, I find my morals, values, world view, has not. This glass-half-empty girl still believes that people are mostly good, and given the right circumstances will show their best side. I've had store customers be more considerate and helpful than employees (though most customers will say "excuse me" and expect a name-tagged employee to move out of their path regardless of how full their arms are of product and how many different directions they could take around the stocking clerk), managers more willing to assist than the lowest paid clerk (mostly, vendors don't exist to management unless there is a problem), truckers that exhibit patience in long lines (even when on the interstate they hog the left lane by passing another truck doing 49 on a hill and they are cruising at 50).
One of the first lessons I learned as a social worker was the art of compromise in conflict. Someone has to set their needs aside, be flexible, and I'm pretty good at letting "you" go first, get your word vomit/emotional outburst expressed. Another lesson was to not be offended by rudeness; you never know what kind of day that angry/rude person was having before you showed up to take it out on. They may be having a worse day than you, and a kind word of understanding could make all the difference to them. Listen, acknowledge, accept. Resolution - not always happy, but at least satisfactory for all persons.
When I first heard the song HUMBLE AND KIND by Tim McGraw, I was in one of those funky moods where I wasn't sure I wanted to be in my job any more, despite the awesome pay. Traffic sucked, all the managers had complaints, the hotels were lacking certain comforts, my supervisor was doing the texting equivalent of rolling her eyes and gritting her teeth at my complaints. This is America damn it, speak English! I was in my car, listening to the radio (finally found a country station) and this song made me cry. It was a reminder of all my temporarily abandoned values.
Phrases like: Let yourself feel the pride; don't expect a free ride, don't hold a grudge, hold the door, say please, say thank you, help the next one in line; all resonated with me. I had forgotten to STAY HUMBLE AND KIND that day (week). It reminded me there is a bigger world out there than myself. Sometimes the Universe has a weird way of getting my attention.
In an interview with Gayle Thompson (the Boot, Feb 20, 2016), McGraw says he "thought it was a song that needed to be heard" and “[McKenna] sent me that song. I guess I had it for a year and a half or so,” McGraw recalls, “and it was just her and an acoustic guitar playing it. The night that she wrote it, she sent it to me, and I listened to it over and over, and I just fell in love with the song and her version of it...I couldn’t get past her demo of her singing it. It was just so beautiful and so touching. If anybody’s ever heard Lori just sit and sing with a guitar, she could sing anything to you and sell it to you. It’s so beautiful what she does.”
Now, with an accolade like that - after hearing Tim McGraw's emotive rendition - naturally I had to find a publication of Lori McKenna singing her heartfelt song.
Try not to judge McGraw's official version by the video. A lot of work went into making this a personal/political statement, a statement about thoughtfulness and diversity. People matter. He says, "I was on the treadmill one morning, trying to figure out what I wanted to do with this video, and Oprah [Winfrey]’s Belief series, the trailer for the series, came on. And I knew that’s exactly what I wanted my video to be.”
How about it BoTBers? Are you more compelled to stay "Humble and Kind" by Lori's simple guitar version?
Feel free to tell me how your week is going/gone in the comments, as well as your votes - if you are so inclined.
I'm an infrequent participant of Battle of the Bands, hosted twice a month by Far Away Eyes and Stephen T McCarthy; so don't look for my link on Saint Mac's site.