Is she a lazy waitress who didn’t bring my salad quickly enough or is she a single mom working two jobs and trying to make ends meet?
Is he some foreign cab driver who doesn’t know the absolute quickest way from point A or point B or is he an immigrant survivor with a master’s degree who is working the midnight airport run in order to pay for medical treatment for a sick child?
Is she a housekeeper that speaks with a funny accent or is she a hardworking grandma who is struggling to keep her extended family together under one roof?
The answers to these questions say much more about us than about the people who help us.
As with so many things, our reaction to this depends greatly upon our perspective.
We should treat everyone with whom we interact with the utmost dignity, compassion and kindness.
When I see people being rude to taxi drivers or waiters, it makes my blood boil.
Let’s say that we were at a lunch and someone was trying to get my business. Before committing, I like to watch and see how my potential business partner treats the waiter or waitress. If they are kind, it goes a long way in my book.
There is a power differential at play in these scenarios. People who abuse those who help us make our way through the day are little more than bullies.
We can choose to go through life angry at all of the people who are supposed to be “serving” us or we can treat them as a fellow human being who is doing the best that they can.
And when the time comes when we are the ones providing service, hopefully we will get that same treatment from those that we serve.