Dear Diary: Be Kind to Unkind People

While in Chicago last week the most evil thing happened to me.

I can’t even describe the hate and fury that boiled up in my blood that sunny afternoon in Illinois.

We were spending our last day in the states at a fashion outlet mall. The kids were thirsty and wanted to go.The next thing on our agenda that day was to take them bowling and they were really excited about that. We were just leaving the mall and my husband was at a vending machine buying a drink for the kids. At this point Nate started to scream bloody murder. He was tired and thirsty…it happens. KIDS!

This nasty woman stopped in her tracks and looked at me and shouted unforeseen words about my little boy. She told me to ‘control my child’ and how vile he was. She was a grown woman, in her 50’s or maybe 60’s. Her friend was with her and started laughing. All I remember is her dark shoulder length hair and how I wish I lunged at her and took hold of it in the grasp of my hands.

I don’t know what took over me but I started to charge at her. I could not control the anger inside of me. How DARE a grown woman say mean and hurtful things about my little boy! We were LEAVING the mall. We actually were not even IN the mall. We were at the side doors that exited to the parking lot/street.

You know…I cared about what she said about Nate. I wanted the world to know how MEAN she was by screaming at her! Instead, I ended up looking like the bad one.

She created pain both my children and myself. She made me feel like a failure at being a mother. No pain any mother should ever feel.

I asked the woman ‘what did you say about my son?’. She ignored me and started walking faster and laughing more. This infuriated me MORE. I didn’t stop. My pace started to get quicker and my mouth started spewing hate at her.

She disappeared in the parking lot to her car just like that. I was left bewildered and angered. This was the first time someone said something bad about my kids to my face. It actually ruined my entire day. I know I could have let it go and forgot about it. But I seriously COULD NOT at that time and place. I then proceeded to get angry at my husband. Angry because I was the one left to fend for my poor child who was just humiliated by someone who could have been his grandmother (thank goodness she is NOT).

I have never experienced this in Dubai. People are generally very accommodating about children in the UAE. Which makes me miss being back ‘home’. I feel like when we are back in Dubai at a mall or what have you, my kids are surrounded by love. Expats and locals are very caring and often say kind things to them.

My kids are not angels, they are not perfect. I know that… but how dare you say horrible things about my boy when I was no bother to anyone at the mall? Shame on you grown woman! If you are ever blessed with grandchildren maybe then you will recall the not so great moments of parenthood. May your son or daughter not have to endure them. May they be blessed with perfect children who never utter a teeny tiny scream or tantrum!

I forgive you! I forgive you for crushing the heart of my 3 year old sweet boy and the heart of his mother (ME). I forgive you because your hatred actually made my heart grow fonder for my son. I learnt a lesson!

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If this sadly ever does happen to me (or a loved one) I know what I will do! I will stop, control myself (unlike how I did with you) and be the support, trust and safety for my children. The truth is, there will always be mean people all over the world, wherever we go. Natural instinct is to fight back! No, next time I will not fight back and fuel the fire. Instead I will offer compassion!

I sit here today, with a clear forgiving mind. And I see you as a sad grown woman. Wounded and probably threatened. Maybe you do not have grandchildren or even children and that angers you.

Today, and for the remaining years of my life when I encounter someone like you I am going to send loving thoughts in exchange for your hurtful words.

I did some research online and found some interesting articles. “Metta bhavana, or loving-kindness meditation, is a method of developing compassion. It comes from the Buddhist tradition, but it can be adapted and practised by anyone, regardless of religious affiliation; loving-kindness meditation is essentially about cultivating love.”

May you be safe, happy, healthy, live joyously…..

Only when you are happy and free will you stop hurting people with your mean words. I pray you find happiness.

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