It was a typical glamorous day in the life of Lara Fernandez. Standing in a long line at the local grocery store, short on time and patience, mindlessly watching the customers ahead of me buying their groceries.
As I slowly and painfully inched closer to the checkout counter, I noticed, one customer ahead of me, an interaction between the checkout lady and two Latino men who looked like day laborers. They obviously didn’t speak any English as they tried to swipe their debit card and punch the correct buttons in the credit card machine to pay for their food. It wasn’t working, it was dragging on, and the checkout lady was becoming more and more impatient, speaking louder and louder (like that was going to make it clear to them) about which button to push. Finally, with jerky, annoyed movements- she punched the right button for them huffily and briskly handed them their receipt, and off they went.
This happened so quickly, I hardly had time to react. I was in shock at what I was witnessing, which immediately grew into outrage. Then it was my turn to purchase my food. I was shaking with fury and pain at her and frustration that I hadn’t reacted more quickly, intervening on their part and helping them, since I speak Spanish (one of the men was older and looked a lot like my Mexican grandfather).
So I let her have it. My voice was trembling, my heart was beating fast (I can feel it speeding up as I type this) and I took a stand for those men. I loudly let her know she should be ashamed of herself for being that way with them… that she must be having a bad day, but that doesn’t give her the right to treat others like shit, that I’m going to issue a complaint with the owner of the store about her… etc. I had other customers nearby agreeing with me and nodding their heads.
She didn’t say a word as she rung up my purchases and I paid. She handed me my receipt and said, “have a nice day”.
I went to the owner (he’s a local man, and I know him) and let him know about what I witnessed. Hopefully, something was said to her.
Here’s my point. I felt good about telling her off, felt like I was doing the right thing and standing in my power and all that- but I did not do it perfectly. I took a very imperfect stand for those men and (in my mind anyway) for all who are treated unjustly. I truly wish I could have done it better, said it faster, responded immediately. AND, I’m proud of myself for saying what I said and doing what I did do.
Why am I even sharing this with you?
Because this may be on some level the same feeling for you regarding you and your life.
How are you taking a stand for YOU right now? Are you moving toward the life of your dreams in a real, concrete way? Who’s got your back when things get tough? (Hopefully- first and foremost, YOU’VE got your own back and you surround yourself with people who support you and love you)
Are you complaining about how bad it all is, how unfair it all is- is that your focus?