Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: Holiday

Why choosing to be gracious is so important

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.

194 | 365 Changing Conditions

Day194.jpgOn Sunday, conditions at the beach were gentle. It was low tide, with a light swell and small waves. There was plenty of room to make sand castles and bury kids in holes.
The next day it was high tide with a sizeable swell and the waves were crashing hard and sliding all the way up the beach to the sand dunes. There was no room to play or anywhere to relax.
I pondered how life can be like this. One day its gentle, plenty of room to play and relax, then suddenly, overnight it can change and things feel like that are crashing down around us, with no room for movement.
What surprises me the most, is when I have calm periods I forget that they don’t last forever, or when I have heavy crashing periods I forget calmer times will come.
Yesterdays conditions, like the surf , may be a completely different from today.
[194 | 365 – Changing Conditions – The family wade in the water as surfies watch the impact of the large swell and high tide]

192 | 365 Waikino Kilns

Day192.jpgTwo mammoth reminders from our visit to the mining battery ruins of at Waikino with the kids.
#1 ‘At school I don’t like history and feel like falling asleep’. Our kids really got a kick out of the personalised guided tour by a couple of retired volunteers. They enjoyed seeing and touching and experiencing. The learning that comes from seeing can be immeasurable compared to reading a book or watching a DVD.
#2 100 years ago, at the height of the mining, they were felling 1 hectare of native forest a day all so they could refine more gold. Mankind is destructive and we were and are bad stewards of the world we live in.
[192 | 365 – ‘Waikino Kilns’ – The kids emerge from exploring the Waikino Kilns. Awesome knowledgeable volunteers gave us a great tour of the museum, kilns and tramaway ride.]