"Don't judge, just love."
I am a warrior and this is my battle cry.
Everyday, a challenge pops up. It's someone glaring at you while you walk down the hall. Someone adding to their already excessive make-up in the bathroom. Someone pdaing in the hallway. Someone who cuts you off in traffic.
What's your initial reaction? To judge. To be rude. To feel hate and anger.
Look at someone and say, "They're just having a bad day." or, "Maybe they have a crazy skin condition and are embarrassed." Relate it to yourself. "I was young once, and everyone makes mistakes." I enjoy having hypothetical conversations. "Go, your grandmother probably needs your help."
Among the gajillion things Gandolfo's has taught me, it's taught me to embrace people. It's protocol to be friends, ask them how they are, if they're having a good day. And usually people, that I honestly wouldn't approach otherwise.
Take one of my regulars. He's someone in his mid-twenties, always smells strongly of cigarette smoke, and has a deep gravely voice.
But he is so amazingly kind. He'll always talk to me."You're working by yourself? I'm sorry. You'd probably rather be home watching TV then making some sandwich for me."
I love the customers who seem shy and unapproachable at first, but then I turn on my music and their face lights up and they ask "Is this The Format?" "No, it's fun." And then we have an amazing 5 minute conversation where they've written down a list of bands I must look up.
It really makes you look differently at people. I try to assume positively. "She looks grumpy... but her earrings are cute." "They're probably texting a lot and not paying attention because they're helping a friend."
This week, as the Christmas love approaches, don't judge.