We all have pet peeves. Things that, as my 14-year-old daughter says, really grinds our gears.
My pet peeves for a while now happen to come in the form of two statements. They are “you know what you ought to do…” and “I don’t mean to complain but…” or some variation of either.
If you have ever started a sentence with either of those in my presence, then you probably know what I would look like if I were a tomato. Yes, my face tends to get a little red and as Vinson Orr says, “you can hear Felisha blink,” so my facial expressions usually tell you the rest.
I’m working on toning those expressions down a bit but I’ve almost decided that they serve as a warning of what’s coming next — either you are about to see me in a state of complete joy or the opposite. I’ve figured out over the years that I’m one of those folks who has very little in between. I know this and I’ve worked on it … sort of. But as GI Joe taught me in elementary school, knowing is half the battle.
But I’m getting off subject here. To me, if you utter either of those phrases and what comes next is not you volunteering to do what I ought to do or you don’t have a solution to that thing you don’t mean to complain about then I’m not sure why you are telling me either thing. (I use the term “me” in this, but I mean any person you are saying it to.) It is too easy and too lazy to simply sit back and bark orders or complain about the things you don’t like about something. There are way too many in this world doing that when instead we should be part of a solution.
This past Trade Day we encountered a woman who was not happy with the way something was being done. We apologized and explained that it was our first time and we were doing the best we could. It was suggested that she could volunteer to help us next time. In my mind I was thinking there was no way we were going to get a volunteer out of this, but instead, she wrote her name and phone number down then told us to call her. I’ll be honest, she heard me blink. I was shocked and happy to see someone back up a complaint.
I’m by no means perfect nor do I know everything and heck, I know I’m guilty of saying something like one of those statements to another person. I can honestly tell you though that I try my very best not to idly complain or bark orders. If I do either you can bet I’m volunteering for it or helping to find a solution. We have a lot of really good people like that in Frederick who have put their work gloves on and are getting dirty. Sadly some of them are getting beat up for not doing it the way they “ought to do” it.
So I ask you, do you have on your work gloves or your boxing gloves? Are you volunteering, helping to find solutions or offering support to someone who does? Or are you lazily lacing up your boxing gloves to beat up those who are trying? It’s a hard bit of self-reflection, I know, but I ask you sincerely to look at your words and actions in order to figure that out. We all have the same goal of a better community in mind but if we are distracted by punching each other we will lose the fight.
Lastly, you know what else my pet peeve could be? You not signing up for the First United Methodist Church Youth Mission Teams “Glow in the Dark” run on May 20. Head to www.fredfumc.org to sign up electronically.
Don’t forget: Be kind. Be heard. Be local.
Reach Felisha Crawford at email@example.com or 580-335-2126.