"Lynita, you treat everyone like family."
A person I very much respect and admire said that to me once. It was not a compliment.
The person was frustrated with me because I would not be as tough and forceful with a person as the situation (in other people's eyes) might have called for.
I had flown this dignitary in for an event, and the person at the desk made a mistake. I had arranged to have refreshments in the suite upon her arrival at the hotel because I knew that she had just completed a long flight and it was going to be another couple of hours before dinner. But the refreshments were not there. My guest didn't say anything to me about it until after dinner, and it was late. So the next morning I went to the front desk and the person was very apologetic. The refreshments were delivered promptly. Yet my guest told me that I should have demanded to speak with a manager and been much more forceful in my remarks to the person at the desk.
But all I could see was myself in that young person.
I saw a person who was doing his best to juggle multiple tasks. I saw him alone trying to manage what was going on behind him as well as what was going on in front. I saw a person who was fighting desperately to maintain his smile and to keep his spirits up. And I just could not be the person to topple him off his precarious perch.
And so I told him it was all right. Because it was. And I thanked him for sending the refreshments. Because I was grateful. And I accepted his apology. Because I knew it was genuine.
My guest at that point told me that I treated people like family. That I had paid for a service and it was not done and that omission needed to be addressed. I studied her long and hard. And I saw myself in her as well.
I saw a person who had worked hard to get where she was. I saw a person who sacrificed time from family and friends and things that she loved to live her life mission. I saw a person who had been slighted by people who meant to hurt her and those who did not, and sometimes had trouble differentiating between the two scenarios.
And so I smiled at her and I said, "Yes, I do."
I try to treat everyone like we are one big family. Because we are. We are all of the Spirit having The Human Experience and doing the best we can with what we have. Even when our best is far below the bar of what is humane, in that moment that's the best that our egoict selves know. And so it is important that we reach up to our spiritual selves to expand and grow.
Sometimes I fall short. And in those moments I'm very grateful to have wonderful family, loving friends, great community members, and excellent colleagues in my life to remind me. And I am grateful. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾