Sometimes people are rude.  Some people barely treat other people like they’re human, let alone created in the image of God.

After a few years of working off and on at a pizza restaurant I have come to realize how much our assumptions impact the way we treat other people.  For example, the environment that people meet other people in impacts their assumptions.

At the pizza place, some customers are very rude and nasty.  Perhaps the order was not quite fast enough or the price was not clear when they made the purchase.  They start speaking down to you as if you’re incompetent and uneducated.

Sometimes I have wanted to tell them that I have a graduate degree and I am an ordained minister.  However, this would not be beneficial, and totally not right.  I wonder if they would treat me the same if they met me in the environment of my church office.

At the pizza place, I work with people with college degrees and people working on their G.E.D.s; sixteen-year-olds and fifty-something-year-olds.  We come from all different walks of life, however, a large group of customers presume to speak to us as if they know how smart and competent we are.

This experience gets me thinking about the assumptions I make when I meet people who are different from me.  What assumptions do I make based on the environment of the situation?  What assumptions do I make about the way people dress, their skin color, or the language they speak?

Although I may get frustrated at the way some customers treat me at the pizza place, I should take that as a learning experience to question myself about my own prejudices.  What kind of message does my body language, attitude, and willingness to serve send to the people I find myself with?

Do I treat people how I want to be treated?  Do I forgive other people’s mistakes (God knows I make mistakes too)?

Do I get frustrated when things take too long for my liking?  Do I show that frustration to the person across the counter making minimum-wage, with no health-insurance, little savings, and going through a nasty divorce?  Maybe I treat them rudely or I don’t give them a decent tip.

Perhaps for most of us our frustrations and difficulties in life are only as difficult as those of the next person I meet.

Lord Jesus, show me my weaknesses so that I may become more like you for I want to treat others as you do.  Amen.

assumptions we make

by Mark Lafler time to read: 2 min