There is no way we can actually know the reasons why someone does something, unless they tell us.  And even then they may not be able to fully verbalize why they are doing something.  Usually we assume they are doing it because they want to for one reason or another.  Because they need the money, because it’s fun, because for some reason they are invested in the outcome, because some SOB cut them off on the freeway so they missed their exit, etc, etc, etc.  And that would be true, however there are very few people I know who want to be serving a yelling customer and keeping a smile on their face while receiving verbal abuse, or who want to be in a rage while driving, or who want to be anywhere near their children who are screaming in the grocery store check out line.

How we interact with each other is just as important as why, if not more.  Being a part of the Occupy movement is, in my opinion, important, but even more so that the participation is non-violent.  Words can be heard much more clearly when the listeners are not dodging bricks, sticks, and garbage.  You are more likely to get good service if you don’t yell at the first opportunity or the first issue. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about screaming children in a grocery store no matter what SuperNanny tells you.  Trying to be the perfect parent and time it just right so that the kids are not over tired, hungry, or bored is like trying to win the lottery.  There’s a chance, but it’s long odds.

Often what I hear is “If I could just be acknowledged for what I did, it would be so much easier”.  Just hearing ‘Thank you’ can make a person’s day and make what they are going through lighter and less soul killing.  Giving tired parents a smile and a nod, letting someone into traffic when you see them signaling or waiting, saying “thank you” with a smile and looking the person in the eye’s when you do it goes a long way towards making a situation better.  Acknowledge the effort even if the outcome isn’t perfect.  Perfection is something to strive for, not to expect.