Choose different. Change the world.

Let me paint you a picture.

You’re in a bar buying a drink. While the bartender’s getting pouring your drink you ask him if he’s serving food. The reply you get back is short and curt and rude.

Change your choiceWhat would you do next?

  1. Tell him how rude he is?
  2. Provide a space for him to choose something different?

This happened to a friend of mine recently.

So what did they do?

Well they chose something different. They didn’t retaliate, or tell the man he was being rude. In that split second between him talking and them replying, they chose something different.

They didn’t react, they responded.

They smiled and made light of the remark and engaged him in conversation. They chose to ignore the curtness, and despite himself, the bartender engaged and the energy was changed.

Don Miguel Ruiz, has written a wonderful book called, ‘The Four Agreements’. The second agreement is ‘Don’t take anything personally.’ Often easier said than done. But in this instance, my friend didn’t take it personally, and that made all the difference in determining the outcome.

When we take things personally and want to push back, we’re acting from our egos.

When we meet anger with anger, or rudeness with rudeness, or impatience with impatience then we’ll just create more of that. Is that what we want?

Had my friend retaliated, it may well have led to a heated exchange of words. Which could have left them both feeling anger and judgement and may well have spilled into the rest of their days.

Who knows why the man was rude. But in meeting rudeness with kindness and friendliness, my friend acted as a mirror for the man. She gave him space to see and hear himself, and gave him the opportunity to choose something different.

When we label others, we give them no space to be anything outside the label we’ve assigned them, (we quite literally become blind to everything that doesn’t fit in our story) and we treat them accordingly.

We’re the creators of our experience and it is our experiences that create our reality.

Always. We always get to choose.

Who knows what difference that tiny act of kindness made to that man that day at that moment?

Don’t react, respond. Choosing different will change the world. One action at a time.

So, where in your life could you create a space and be a mirror for someone by choosing different something different?


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