Years ago, after traveling for hours in a car with two kids and a sick dog, we went to a fast food restaurant and ordered meals to go. After paying the bill of over $40, I went back to the counter to get ketchup. The cashier proudly reported, with a little smile, that it would be .50 cents a pack. It’s years later and I haven’t been back. It’s a joke in the family when we pass one, “Hey mom, let’s stop and buy some ketchup.” My whole identity for that restaurant is that silly defining moment when someone stood between my french fries and their ketchup. It’s the principle.
Today I took my daughter and her friend out for lunch. It’s her favorite restaurant when she’s home from college, so I enjoy treating her when she’s home. After ordering and enjoying our time together, I asked our server for one small side of dressing. “Sure, but it will be an additional charge of .50 cents.” Not again. Startled, having been several times and never being told this, I decided to speak up. “Really, you are going to charge me for extra salad dressing? I ordered an expensive salad.” Realizing this wasn’t the waitress’s decision, I asked her to inform her manager that a regular customer found this offensive. When I paid, she had not charged me, and I was grateful management was willing to overlook the .50 cents to keep me a loyal customer. Again, its the principle.
I’m serious about my principles. Are you?
If food is important, consider this principle in relationships. Little things are huge when between people. Let’s compare. Unkind words, or perhaps very kind words. Time well spent or unduly wasted. Decisions that honor or disrespect another. Good communication where intentions are clear and assumptions are not needed. Positive body language and eye contact versus begging for a moment of undivided attention. Affirming another as apposed to making a back handed comment that hurts instead. Most arguments aren’t actually arguments, they are misunderstood conversations where unchecked emotions are allowed to fester.
I’m also serious about my french fries and ketchup. And my salad dressing. Because it costs hard earned money. More importantly, I believe in standing up for little things before they become big. Even if it costs just .50 cents. It’s the principle.
Little things. Nah, there is no such thing. Everything we say and do matters. Every word, every decision, every commitment of our time. It’s the principle. Today’s Pick of the Day.