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Believer
23 February 2012, 05:35 PM
Namaste,

I am starting this thread to learn how some of you may have been taught proper behavior by total strangers, by example; how someone acted gracefully to cover up your deficiencies and showed you the civil way to act in a less than perfect situation.

My experience: Normally I keep to the right while walking, as is expected in our environs in North America. Recently, I was meandering through the aisles in our local grocery store. As I turned the corner into the produce section, I found myself pushing my cart on the wrong side of the walking area. A young lady with two preteen daughters in tow happened to come from the opposite direction directly towards me. She swerved and as I apologized for my slip, she laughingly said, "I am glad I am not driving". To me that was a class act - her taking the blame for an incident which was entirely my fault, and just laughing it off to reduce my embarrassment. It was a simple act, an extemporaneous thoughtful gesture which showed me the code for proper human interaction in a civil way, even when you are not the one at fault. Hopefully this lesson, imparted to me through the demonstration of dignified behavior and not through pontification, will stay with me for all times to come.

I invite similar experiences from other members about strangers teaching you civility through their action(s).

Pranam.

NayaSurya
24 February 2012, 08:46 AM
When my Father died recently I was in his home town, a place I had only visited in my early childhood. But, at this veterans hospice facility I found such overwhelming compassion given to us. We had paid for an expensive hotel...and these wonderful hospice nurses gave us one of the suites in the facility especially for long distance travelers to stay. It was as nice as a presidential suite at any four star hotel. Everything, hot food...beverages...towels...private baths...were provided. This, made my situation much easier as I was able to not be concerned with my son and husband and being far away from them at the hotel we had already paid for.

Every single need cared for, I was fully able to focus on him and being with him.

Very wonderful and kind Devas dwell in that space.

Where I live, such acts of kindness are very rare. Though I would say kentuckians are warm, friendly and very kind. I leave this hill rarely and so do not have much exposure to them.

Mostly, my visits with this realm involve a friday night grocery shopping trip...which means most of my encounters occur with portions who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Apparently, within small towns, the big thing to do when drunk is to go to the 24 hour grocery and harass the old folks shopping.:p

Eastern Mind
24 February 2012, 09:27 AM
Vannakkam: Thanks, Believer, for this thread. All people are teachers.

I was about 19, just getting into Hinduism, and all enthusiastic and yappy about it, as many who are new to something are. At that time hitchhiking was a common way for you to travel, perhaps because it was a safer era. So it's getting late in the evening,and I'm stuck on a highway in a town about 3 hours from my destination, and I'm broke, looking for a long lonely cold night on the road. Not much traffic.

A couple (Jim and Judy, I remember this so well) comes out of a pub, and strikes up a conversation. Eventually they suggest that I stay at their home, (which isn't much) and continue on the next day. Not liking the alternative of getting cold and tired, I accept. These are total strangers.

I'm full of it, just waiting to tell somebody, anybody about my new found faith. So later on in the evening I try to strike up a conversation about faith and especially, Eastern philosophy. I ask stupid questions only a kid would ask. Judy finally just stares me down. "What the hell are you going on about. You're here, aren't you?"

I sort of shrunk at the obviousness of it all. I've never forgotten that lesson.

It's in action, not words, you fool!

Aum Namasivaya

Jainarayan
24 February 2012, 10:24 AM
Namaste.

All I can think of right now is courtesy on the road, or the lack thereof, and courtesy to other people or the lack thereof.

By observing the way other people drive, I take a different approach. I do not cut people off or pull out in front of them; I know that when I am backing out of a spot (having a pickup truck I try to do a pull-through whenever possible), the person already moving through the parking lot has the right of way (NJ law, anyway); I give other trucks, especially tractor-trailers, even other pickup trucks, extreme respect; I let people go ahead of me. Why do I do this? Because I've learned how many bad and inconsiderate and discourteous drivers are on the road. I do not want to be like them.

I've never been in the armed forces, but I've learned to call most every male "sir" and woman "ma'am", even if they are younger than me. How and why? I like cop and military tv shows, and I think they often set a good example, fantasy or not.

When (not "if") people in a grocery store piss me off with their cart-driving, I just take a deep breath, try to smile and make a friendly comment, and remember they have a right to be there too. This may sound "overly-new convert", but I try to think WWKD (What Would Krishna Do?).

I'm learning to control my negative reactions by watching other people's. No one ever died from smiling. I just hope I can remember all this when I see my s-i-l next weekend at her future daughter-in-law's baby shower. :o

Friend from the West
26 February 2012, 12:33 AM
Namaste Believer and everyone,

I think that on HDF, there have been many examples of this as you describe. I struggle with calling portions here strangers but at same time, yet to meet anyone face to face. So hope through technicality, what follows fits criteria:

I have posted numerous times since joining this HDF. Think when hit submit, I may have understood message and hope response fits and helps. Whether upon rereading, subsequent responses, or a kindly PM, find I didn't offer much that hit the mark or helped. Through the PM from dear portions here or some of the responses, are the most kindly, subtle, caring corrections that fit for me to learn from, but also, I think benefit the portions who may have read what I shared and offered them more, helped me learn, and not squish anyone.

OM Shanti

FFTW