Recently, I was challenged to think of rudeness as an invitation to kindness. Bizarre. But it made sense to me. Too often rudeness causes me to be rude or to make rude comments or to think rude thoughts. I dislike rudeness, so why would I allow it to effect rudeness in me. Mostly, I think it is because I become indignant. I don't like to think that I deserve to be treated rudely. It seems inconsiderate, thoughtless, careless, hurtful. Everything that is not kind.
The pastor who presented this challenge said that rudeness affected him in the same way that it affects me. But he challenged himself to view an experience of rudeness as an invitation to show kindness, and not necessarily to the one who was rude. And this is what he does. When he encounters rudeness, it reminds him to be kind to another.
I like this invitation. I want to do the same. Because rudeness is the opposite of kind, I want the rude encounter to remind of kindness. I want to get a bigger picture of kindness. I want to know what kindness is in my heart and not just in my head. Seeing rudeness will show me what kindness is not and thereby show me what it is.
So, I have decided to permit rudeness to be an invitation to extend a kindness. I want rudeness to make me kindly aware, to move me into a kinder place, to be a kinder person.