Polite outside, crass inside . . !


YOUR husband, I told the pretty lady standing at the entrance of the park where I walk everyday, “is such a polite man!” “Why what does he do?” asked the lady. “He wishes everybody during his morning walk,” said the chairman of the committee which maintains the park.

“He helps my wife cross the road when I can’t come,” said a senior citizen. “He is so courteous with the ladies’ said the chairman’s wife. “You are so lucky to have such a polite man. A tear crept down the cheek of the pretty lady at the entrance of the park.

“You’re crying,” I said, “Why?” “I wish,” she said, and I heard her sob, “That he was also polite to me his wife!” I stared at her and remembered an anecdote in rhyme: I ran into a stranger as he passed by, “Oh excuse me please” was my reply. “He said, “Please excuse me too; I wasn’t watching for you.”

We were very polite, this stranger and I. We went on our way and we said goodbye. But at home a different story is told, how we treat our loved ones, young and old. Later that day, cooking the evening meal, my son stood beside me very still. When I turned, I nearly knocked him down. “Move out of the way,” I said with a frown. He walked away, his little heart broken. I didn’t realize how harshly I’d spoken.

While I lay awake in bed, God’s still small voice came to me and said, “While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy you use, but the family you love, you seem to abuse. Go and look on the kitchen floor, you’ll find some flowers there by the door. Those are the flowers he brought for you. He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue. He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise, you never saw the tears that filled his little eyes.”

By this time, I felt very small, and now my tears began to fall. I quietly went and knelt by his bed; “Wake up, little one, wake up,” I said. “Are these the flowers you picked for me?” He smiled, “I found ‘em, out by the tree. I picked ‘em because they’re pretty like you. I knew you’d like ‘em, especially the blue.” I said, “Son, I’m very sorry for the way I acted today; I shouldn’t have yelled at you that way.”

He said, “Oh, Mom, that’s okay. I love you anyway.” I said, “Son, I love you too, and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.” I looked at the pretty woman outside the park and tears crept into my own eyes as I thought how needed it was to be polite both outside and inside our homes..!


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