If you’ve never read Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” it may be something to check out.

“It doesn’t matter what you say you believe - it only matters what you do.”―Robert Fulghum

 

If you’ve never read Robert Fulghum’s book, “All I really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” it may be something to check out. 

 

I have a couple of copies and will read certain passages from time-to-time. When I received my first copy I chuckled thinking it was satire, but having read through it multiple times there is a lot of truth in it.

 

I am a fairly laid back person. I’m not easily offended and if I let you in my very small circle of friends I’ve got your back until the end of time. If you don’t like me, I’m cool with that, too.

 

All-in-all, it’s a pretty simple formula. I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago or even a year ago. I’m still painfully shy if I’m not comfortable in a situation or if I don’t know someone well, but if you like me enough to get past that wall, I’m decent. I look out for those I care about. I will stand up for what I believe in and I won’t follow the crowd simply because I fear being different. I learned a long time ago I’m different. I like to color outside the lines. I’m quirky, make silly mistakes, am extremely clumsy and goodness knows what else, but one of my goals each and every day is to avoid judging others. Judgmental people drive me absolutely bananas.

 

Judging is not my job. I have an enormous amount of faith. I pray every day, multiple times and I believe the good Lord knows my heart.

 

I am far from perfect and I readily admit that. I will never be perfect. I will never make people 100 percent happy all of the time; that is life and the nature of this business.I’m okay with that.

 

What I’m not okay with is how vicious some people have become. I don’t remember all of the vitriol when I first started out as opposed to today.

 

Dealing with the public on a daily basis I always try to treat those in similar positions with a little more empathy than others may. Not a big deal I just know it can be challenging.

 

The other day I stopped to pick up a few things before I went home. A young woman was in front of me and an older person was behind me. I heard the woman making small talk with the cashier. She had just got off of work and was picking some stuff up for herself and her kids.

 

When it came time to pay she used her EBT Link card. She was a little short. Obviously embarrassed, she attempted to pay the remainder of the balance with a debit card. It was declined due to insufficient funds.

 

I was standing there feeling so bad for her while the person behind me was cussing, calling her lazy and a few other things.

 

Honestly, the little devil on my left shoulder seriously considered turning around and throat punching him. However, I didn’t really feel like getting arrested as I don’t have a whole lot of contacts in McDonough County.

 

Finally, I asked, “How much do you need?”

 

There were tears in her eyes as she told the cashier she could run home and get the rest, but the cashier said she couldn’t cancel the transaction.

 

Again, I asked, “How much do you need?”

 

The cashier told me it was a little over eight bucks. I had my debit card ready and told the young woman I would take care of it.

 

It is difficult to accept help. This I know. I’m also one of the most stubborn people on the planet. If I had been in her shoes, I would have protested, too, but I am a sucker for the underdog, someone in need or someone who is hurting.

 

After I swiped my card the cashier asked if we wanted to exchange information so I could be repaid.

 

I told her not to worry about it and added if she ever has the opportunity to help someone, do that instead.

 

If I hadn’t helped her I know my Gramps would have been rolling over in his grave. It’s not a matter of doing something nice, it’s about being a decent human being, something that is severely lacking in this day-and-age.

 

Being decent shouldn’t be considered a positive attribute. It should be a general requirement for life.

 

Everyone has bad times. If you’ve never experienced hardships, God bless.

 

If you face every single day with hatred in your heart and an angry soul, that’s on you. Believe it or not you aren’t required to spread it around to everyone else.

 

Do I always abide by this mantra? No. I’m imperfect in many ways, but I do make every attempt to avoid taking my issues out on others.

 

Some are under the misconception you have to attend every argument you’re invited to.

 

The truth is, you don’t. It took me awhile to grasp that. If someone has their mind made up chances are you’re not going to be able to do or say anything to magically change their way of thinking.

 

Just as being mean is a conscious choice, so is being nice.

 

Whatever way you roll is up to you, not anyone else.

 

As Fulgham said, it really doesn’t matter what you say you believe in rather it’s what you do that is the real testament of one’s convictions.