Nov 6, 2013

Being Nice

I learned a very valuable lesson today.  It's a lesson we all should learn by the age of 5, but unfortunately, in certain situations we forget.  My mother taught me very well, but I still falter at times.  Being Nice to people is one of the greatest parts of our character.  It can define the person we are.  I'm not sure if I'll ever forget the lesson I learned today.  I certainly hope that I never forget again.

This morning I turned on my TV and all the channels had been taken away.  The only screen that was on was a man from comcast telling me that some changes had taken place and I would now need a new system to be able to watch TV.  Well, being a morning news person who wakes up at 5am to watch Dan and Keri, I was a little irritated.  Of course I tried everything I could to see if I could fix this, but in the end the man on the screen was right and I had to call in.

As I was dialing the numbers I was already pretty irritated about this situation.  Not the best terms to call someone, I know.  As I waited during the hold music for someone to pick up, I got even more furious.  Then finally someone picked up.  Of course this person was going to get the brunt of my frustration because "Well gosh dang it, he's the person who shut off my TV!!"  

I started my conversation by giving them a whole slew of my info that I'm sure they already had (right?!)  Finally when it got to be my turn to tell him why I was calling, I was so irritated and he could tell (the poor kid).  I was so upset and couldn't figure out why my TV was shut off.  As he struggled to explain it to me I got even more irate because I realized that he wasn't quite sure what was going on.  Then he started to tell me about how it could be turned back on.  

"There's this package (for $25 more).."  or "There's this promotion.."  "We can upgrade you to this for a small fee.."  and on and on.  I was so mad.  I just wanted to watch the stupid news!!  Finally when he had tried to sell me $50 more worth of pointless products that I probably already had, I said, "Isn't there a program that I can do that is the exact same cost at what I'm doing now?!"  Finally he reluctantly said, "Because of the changes made to your area that is no longer an option."  By this time I could tell that he was irritated with me too.

Right then my husband walked in.  I asked if I could put the man on hold so I could explain it to Dave.  Well Dave had just woken up, and so I wasn't making perfect sense especially because I was mad.  Because of my irritation, Dave became irritated and that started an issue between us.  Ugh!  The conversation ended with Dave saying he had to get ready and for me to do whatever I wanted. I got back on the phone and told the guy I didn't want anything if he couldn't give me what I had before.  (What a 3 year old I acted like.  I mean if I couldn't have my toy, then I'm not going to play with you even though you didn't take my toy!)  Boy was this a bad way to start the day.

I took Dave to school and apologized, he apologized, and I gave him a kiss goodbye telling him I loved him.  As I drove home in tears because of the way I had acted all morning I realized what a brat I had been.  Not only had I caused problems for Dave, the man on the phone, but I had caused problems for myself.  I hurt someone over the phone and I hurt my best friend.  Goodness, I was such a snot.

When I got home I washed my face and dried my tears.  I went to call Comcast again.  As I waited during the hold music I said a little prayer asking God to keep me calm.  Then Maurice answered the phone.  I don't know if I would have had the same experience with anyone else.

Maurice said "Hello" and asked me all of the standard questions.  Then he did something else.  When I told him what I was calling about he said he had to look some stuff up.  They normally would've put me on hold, but Maurice didn't.  He asked me where I lived.  I said Utah.  He asked if it was cold, and I said it snowed yesterday.  Now mind you, I still wasn't too happy to be on this phone call, but Maurice was softening my heart.  I then asked him where he was from.  He told me he was from Mexico.  This started one of the greatest conversations I have ever had.

As we chit chatted back and forth, not even worrying about the issues I was having, I found myself caring about the other person on the phone.  I found myself truly enjoying my conversation with Maurice.  He told me that he had just become a new Dad.  His little boy is 2 months old.  This tugged at my heart strings, as I told him that "No, I don't have children.  My husband and I aren't able to have kids of our own."  He said something that no one has ever said back to me before.  He said, "Wow, that must be really hard for you.  Are you okay?"  It took me so off guard that I started to cry.  I didn't even tell him if I was okay I just said thank you for asking and responding like that.  Most people get stuck and don't know what to say.  His kindness touched my heart so deeply.

During the next hour we spent on the phone together I learned about his tough living situation and how scary it is in Mexico.  I also learned that he loves his little boy like nothing in this world.  I learned that he loves his wife.  I also learned that he has seen pictures of Utah, and of all the places in the world he would like to move his family here.  Then he said something so profound.  I was telling him that we have a large latino community in Utah, and what incredible people they are.  The love they have for life, how hard they work, and what kind people they are touches me deeply.  He said this, "I have found that you can find good people in any race, or ethnicity. You just have to look for the good in people."  WOW.

As I thought about Maurice's humble living situation, and all he goes through, I was blown away on his outlook on life.  All that he goes through and he still looks for, and believes that there is good in everyone.  What a beautiful soul Maurice has.  He touched my heart today, and I'm so thankful I talked to him.

When we finally got to my issue, he was able to help me, but not only that, he also gave me an amazing deal.  He gave me what I needed for cheaper than I am paying now.  What a blessing.  Then I ended by telling him that I would remember this conversation always, and that he would be in my prayers.  Then he started to cry, and said, "You Pray?"  I said "Of course I do."  Then he said, "Jill, thank you for praying for me.  I don't think anyone has ever prayed for me."  What a sweetheart.

He told me that he hoped one day I would get to talk to him again, and I said the same.  I told him that I hope he gets to make it to Utah one day and see all the things he loved in the pictures.  We ended our conversation and said goodbye to one another.  

I got off the phone and just sat on my floor and smiled.  Then I got on my knees and asked God to bless Maurice and his family.  I had to pray for him, because I told him that I would.  I had to keep my promise.  I knew it meant a lot to him, and I know he means a lot to God.

I was so irritated when I called the 1st time, and it got me nowhere.  I was still irritated when I called the 2nd time, but because of Maurice being Nice and Kind, my heart was softened and I was able to forget my problems and truly care about someone else.  What an amazing thing kindness is.  It truly can change people.  It changed me today.

I'm so grateful for this beautiful example and lesson that this sweet Mexican man taught me today.  He taught me that being nice will get you a lot further in life than being mean.  What a great lesson to learn (even though I should've learned it when I was 5).  I needed a reminder, and today I got one.  I thought I was pretty good at being positive, but even I need a reminder class at times.  Thanks Maurice!!