3.16.2012

I crumpled a nasty note.

At 3 a.m. this morning, a car alarm in our parking lot went off.  It was loud, even more so in the middle of the night.  It continued to go off at ten-minute intervals until 8 a.m..  I had to run to the grocery store early,  so I wrote a little note for the windshield.  It was simple, not unkind and to the point: you may need to get your car alarm checked out, thanks.  I think the person who owns the car may live in the apartment building a block or so away, and maybe they didn't know it was their car keeping everyone up all night, or maybe they live close, and assumed it was someone else's.  Regardless, I thought the note a reasonable move.  As I went to put it on the windshield, I noticed that someone else had already left a note, it was also short and to the point, but rather, in fact, very unkind.  I'm not writing this because I think I'm awesome for refraining from expletives in my note.  I took the terrible note off and crumpled it in my pocket and put mine on the windshield.

Maybe it wasn't my right to do that, but then again, maybe it is just the thing I should have done.  As I drove to the store, I wondered whether it was the right thing or not.  Someone had obviously taken pains to write their feelings in large letters, with a big, sharpie marker, and I disallowed them the chance to really get some revenge.  I took the note off though because I feel like lately I've seen too many instances in which we forget to treat one another as we would like to be treated.

A couple of months ago I got an email from someone who had ordered a portrait, but wasn't happy with the preview I sent them.  They wrote back a terrible email that was a couple paragraphs longer than necessary.  The writer went out of their way to tell me just how bad I was, etc...After reading it, I had nothing else to write back but, "wow.  I'm really sorry, here is your money back."  I wasn't shocked at the fact that someone was displeased with my work, I was shocked at their response.  It was as if in their writing, they'd forgotten that I was a human with a brain, a heart, a family, my own problems, that was going to receive their harsh words.  I felt terrible the rest of the day.

Two nights ago, I was at the fabric store.  The woman working didn't speak great english and so when the man in front of me asked for 8 yards of fabric, she only cut him 3.  He was dour.  How could anyone have done him such a wrong?  He made a point of telling everyone how silly of a mistake it was, how he'd asked for 8 yards!  not 3!  The lady cut him some more and the whole time he seemed perplexed at the monstrosity of such a grievous misdeed done to him.  These things flashed through my mind this morning when I took the nasty note off the car.  I thought maybe it would make up for the time I hung up on the insurance lady when she couldn't and wouldn't help me.  I thought maybe I could spare someone, (even if their car was so annoying), the sinking feeling of terrible energy directed at them in the form of sharpie-markered words.

 It reminded me that we are all precious and fragile creatures and there is no room for superfluous vile behavior and words in this world.  Most things we think we need to get worked up about could be re-thought and re-worded.   I am far from achieving this quality 100%, I know I can do better.  Let's be good to each other.

12 comments:

Rachel Hunt said...

I think you did the right thing. The very kind, generous thing.

S.A.R. said...

You are so inspiring to me. I think you did the right thing, for sure.

kathy w. said...

Let's be good to each other indeed.

Jori said...

What a great post! You are awesome! :)

Heather said...

You are awesome! I love that you took the other note off. Sorry that you had such an icky experience --- and I admire you so much for not making you bitter, but in fact, very kind and loving. :-)

eve said...

bravo! i am sorry someone was so rude to you. i can't imagine why, after ordering a portrait, they would be that way. you'd think they'd know/admire your style.
i love your humility as well, it rings genuine.

Lindsay said...

Nice thoughts! What a wonderful person you are. I wish I could meet you in real life. Is that weird?

pomegrana said...

love you ashmae!!!!

(no debate about wrong or right, its was the ashmae thing to do, leave something a little nicer rather than nasty---) i wouldn't be suprised if you anonymously/secretly attached a lovely little handmade piece of caring someplace on the car-- guerilla blessing-- saying without any words-here is a piece of beauty to help you through the bad vibes the whole neighborhood is sending your way while you are probably oblivious to any connection with offending them)

Miss you! delight and beauty and good rest to you

kelly @kellynaturally said...

It's hard, in the moment, when seeing someone overreact or act in an unkind way, to get into their shoes, recognize they're facing something we're not... and have compassion. Especially hard when we're on the receiving end of the negativity. I'm sorry about the letter written to you about your art; that was hurtful.

I think it's awesome that you removed the note on the car. You just added good karma to your bank... and passed along some positive energy.

Natalie. said...

Did my comment come through? In case it didn't, I just want you to know that I think you are a treasure. Completely.

Caitlin said...

I love this post, thanks for being awesome. I wonder if I would have left one note under one windshield wiper and and left the original under the other. Sometimes it's nice to remember how to handle situations so differently and to treat each other with love. Way to be the loving kind of lady, I hope I would have done the same thing :)

Kimberly said...

Beautiful, thoughtful, encouraging and challenging reflection. Thank you!