Acts of Random Kindness… NOT

I took the family to the movies after church today to see “Evan Almighty”.

The movie was great, but this is not a movie review blog. I also must remind myself not to be too creative using bits and pieces from the movie to tell a story as I don’t want to ruin it for anyone that is going to see it soon. If you are reading the poor reviews, ignore them. It’s a very good movie, but for me, surrounded by strange experiences.

Let me try to explain.

We arrived early and paid for the matinee and the accompanying treats with a small loan that we took out at a very low interest rate. I think we got a great deal because it took 3 of the 4 members of my family to help me to carry the Vat-O-Diet Coke that I ordered to my seat. I can’t believe they make straws that big! We got settled in our seats and got ready to enjoy our Muvico experience. In case you don’t know, Muvico is the kind of theater that other theaters talk about in envy. It is the Mecca for movie goers for a multitude of reasons, including, but not limited to, seating position and comfort, digital surround ecstasy, and screens so big they could be used as a football field cover in the event of a rain delay.

Anywho, we got about 31 minutes into the movie when the power in the theater went out. We sat in the dark for a minute or two and then the movie came back on. The catch was that there was no audio. This went on for about 15 minutes, so we decided to leave the theater and check out our options at the service desk.

We got there just in time to learn that the entire theater was experiencing the same problem. There was a crowd of very upset people unleashing a verbal assault on the 18 year old girl that was working the counter. Everyone was spitting out solutions, focused on meeting their immediate needs, at a blinding rate and pace. Frustration levels were rising and the longer we waited for the manager to stop trying to actually solve the problem so that he could come down and listen to everyone yell at him, the worse it was to be a witness to. Everyone felt like they deserved some kind of reparations for the extreme wrongditude of the situation. How dare Muvico steal from them the experience they expected this glorious Sunday afternoon? They were ready for war.

Oh yeah, there were about 50 kids watching and listening to the whole thing.

I started to look at the parents around me as if I were one of the children. I observed what I was being taught about patience and understanding from the eyes of a 10 year old. I saw what to do with my face, the tone of my voice, my posture, my attitude, and expressions. I saw that if I just start blaming innocent bystanders, I can get attention, apologies, and free movie tickets! How cool, all you have to do is have a tantrum and everything will be fixed.

How sad.

I was counting on my kids, and hopefully a few others, to notice that I decided to wait patiently for the theater to rectify their problem and to address the public when they had everything under control. I kept my family busy by talking about our situation and discussing what we could do to enjoy our day in spite of the uncontrollable. I didn’t lose my cool, even though I was disappointed.

Like I said, the movie was really good, and I was getting into it.

After it was all said and done, I got the same attention as everyone else, with the same apology and the same free movie tickets. We also were allowed to go into another theater and watch the movie over again from the beginning. So what some kids should have learned was that you don’t have to berate an unknowing high school student for her inability to control the electrical integrity of a 134 zillion dollar movie theater.

She is not in charge of the buildings power supply. That is a job for an electrician. She is not responsible for the happiness and complacency of your family on your glorious Sunday afternoon. That is your job. She couldn’t have changed the outcome of the day’s events, regardless of how hard she worked at her service counter. Neither could you. She just tried to make the best out of a crappy situation. Just like you should…

I have made a bunch of mistakes as a parent and some of them in similar circumstances. I think I finally came to my senses when I realized that my responsibility of raising my children went beyond the confines of my home. Some of the best teaching opportunities come from your children getting a chance to see you practicing what you preach. It’s the time when they get to see that there is truth to the messages you beg them to head.

Show your kids how to handle situations like a grown up by acting like one.

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3 Responses to Acts of Random Kindness… NOT

  1. Alasdair says:

    It never ceases to amaze me just how wound up some people get in the sort of situation you described … that is, those situations where a fault has occurred and somebody somewhere is behind the scenes trying to fix it. They seem to treat it like this immense injustice, if that’s the worst thing that has happened to them of late then they should be truly thankful.

    “Show your kids how to handle situations like a grown up by acting like one.” – never a truer word written … wish me luck!

  2. Dude, I would have yelled and got free tickets for a year. I think you really missed out!! Just kidding man…of course, great insights. Also, thanks for the encouragement…I really appreciate it!

  3. David says:

    Great insights and instincts! Model your words don’t just speak them! Now, where do I find one of those Movico places? I’m in the mood for a Vat-O-Diet Coke.

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