In 2012 I worked with ‘the public’ for four or five months. It was eye opening and challenged me to reconsider some assumptions I had unconsciously adopted about hospitality, and about being faced with hordes of people every single day.
One pervasive attitude struck me as being detrimental to our communities growing and thriving. It’s something that I don’t see the church as being immune from and some of the people I’ve come across in the ‘public sphere’ who have made it known they are Christian have actually been the worst offenders in perpetuating this attitude. What am I referring to?
The belief that each of is special.
And hang on a second, before you get all cranky with me…..bless your cotton socks, you are special.
Your momma probably thinks so, and a good thing too.
Each of us is most certainly made in the image of God. What I mean is an attitude that this specialness entitles you, — privileges you — nay, guarantees you the right to treat those who are serving you in a hospitality or commercial context like they are less than you. This is not okay!
This culture that you are always right as the customer and that you are entitled to treat people badly perpetuates a certain kind of selfishness and self-centredness that is fundamentally detrimental to the civility of our communities.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask for what you would like, but I beg of you to do so with politeness.
Please Be kind!
Those serving you in hospitality or retail cannot read your mind. They often want to give you exactly what you want – but when the sign says “closed” or “cash only” asking to be served anyway because you only want x…. Or requesting to pay by eftpos or visa or amex is just a fool’s errand.
Speaking of which, I just want should not be part of your vocabulary. Please teach your children this!
I know it’s an interesting and perhaps controversial twist, but let’s address this matter more generally. Though we are all created by God, you are not given a pass to be rude or demanding. This also, heaven forbid, applies in the way we rebuke or ‘speak truth’ to each other.
I am not the exception.
You are not the exception.
Listening. Observing. Participating. Writing. Photographing. Reflecting.
Anna Blanch Rabe is an Australian-born writer and photographer. You can follow her adventures on Not A Pedestrian Life, or Facebook. More of her photography can be viewed here. For more Food: Nourish take a look at Quotidian Home or her previous website, Goannatree.