Sometimes when you try to be nice, it backfires!!! The pool was busy yesterday for lap swimming, so we were all swimming 2 to a lane. I was about a mile into my two mile workout when I saw a friend,Lori, coming in to swim but the lanes were full. She’s a triathlete so I know she’s used to crowded swims. My training partner, Chris, was in the lane next to me that was on the end and slightly bigger. She was sharing it with a guy I’d never seen before. I felt bad that Lori didn’t have a spot, so I asked the guy in Chris’ lane if he would be willing to switch spots with me. Then Lori and I could join Chris and swim 3 in her lane. At this point, he got really upset and said, “Fine! I’ll just leave!” Lori and I tried to talk with him nicely asking him not to leave, but he wouldn’t hear anything. He was just mad! Lori tried to explain that I was just trying to be nice and let her swim too. Then he looked at me and said, “You’ve been splashing me anyway!!!” Hmmm…..we’re in a POOL! I didn’t say that, I just thought it. : ) So he left mad. Another lady came and took my spot so Lori, Chris, and I swam 3 to a lane and everything was fine. But as I swam, it bothered me that he could be so mad at me when I was just trying to be nice. I found out from the lifeguard after my workout that he went to the YMCA office and complained about us to the pool director. Sigh……. . Lori reminded me that he was probably just having a bad day. Probably so but I still felt terrible.
This reminded me of a quote that a friend gave to me a few years ago. It’s by Mother Teresa and it hangs by my computer for me to read often. It’s said that this quote is found written on the wall in Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It never was between you and them anyway.