Tumble prompts cautionary tale
Friday, December 1, 2017
The other day I was in a restaurant and noticed that the floor was wet. The employees gingerly stepped over the water, but no one made the effort to put up a safety cone or grab a mop.
I was outraged and about to launch a powder puff barrage in editorial form. Smitten with my wet floor, free willing judgement, I was ready to name names and hold the establishment up to public ridicule. Maybe even shut the place down. Judge and jury, locked and loaded.
I was thinking about all of this, today, at the very same moment I carelessly dripped some water on our floor. Then returning with an arm-full of laundry, I slipped, fell and landed with a crash. Fortunately, no broken bones, but, yes, broken in spirit. I no longer had my balance or the high ground to chastise anyone. I was shaken by both my word and deed. My husband helped me get up.
Later echoing in my heart, I remember my mom saying, “Ali, be mindful of how you treat others on the way up, as you might run into them on the way down.” That got me to thinking about how easy it becomes to criticize others with hi-handed contempt, hi-flying banners and public postings.
For me, the lesson learned is that there is very little moral high-ground available when we choose to demean others. With a basketful of ill intent, I lost my balance and my power- base to condemn. Instead, I was humbled and made poor in spirit.
My cautionary tale is that there must be better ways than taking a tumble to understand that a helping hand does far more good than a sucker punch or a public shellacking ever could.
Alison Lord Stuart