BurtonOnTheRiverThe enemy stood on the other side of the reception desk, or at least that’s is how the man next to us behaved as he ranted about some problem or another. We too had a problem, the room we had just checked into had not been cleaned properly. We could tell it hadn’t been cleaned as the toilet was full of, shall we say, number 2’s. In fact the toilet appeared almost blocked.

As I stood about to engage with the receptionist, with my daughter at my side, I knew I had a choice. I could choose to treat the receptionist as my enemy, as the causer of the problem.

I could rant.

And rave.

And demand.

Or …

I could be gracious.

I could smile, speak warmly, explain the problem without blame. I could be eager for a solution, but then be happy with whatever outcome, knowing in the scheme of things, it is nothing.

I choose to be gracious, and while the other guy continued to rant and alienate the other receptionist, we were shown to a new room by housekeeping.

On one of the long flights to London, I realised that I had a choice. I could choose to be your typical demanding, self focused tourist, or I could be gracious. Waiting, smiling, generous, and letting others go first.

I chose to be gracious. I made a choice long before speaking to that receptionist, which made talking to the receptionist, warm and enjoyable, for both of us.

By choosing to be gracious our world changes, and small things stay just as they are, small.

I was reminded of that the other day as I lacked grace.