I ate dinner at a fast food restaurant today while stuck in a grocery store because of the rain. While at the counter, I overheard a customer shouting at several crew members. Apparently, when he asked for chicken breast parts, the trainee failed to inform him that it wasn’t available. He was also mad because the crew member put too much ice in his drinks.
It’s easy to feel pity towards the crew members, but then I realized, while I was eating, that I pity this man’s children. While he was shouting at the crew members, his two children were looking at him with blank faces. Have they gotten used to their father being like this? I feel bad for these children — apparently, their father thinks it’s alright to shout and lose temper because of other people’s excusable mistakes. There are no breast parts — couldn’t they eat leg, or thigh, or wings? If there’s too much ice in their drinks, they could have it replaced. Children learn a lot by observing, and the first authority that they have in their life are their parents. This father is teaching them that it’s alright to blow your steam whenever, wherever, towards whomever you want to shout at. Have they gone numb over their father’s temper, based on their blank expressions? Perhaps they experience the same tone of voice from their father at home, and it was no surprise to them that their father can talk like that to strangers.
The true test of character is not based on how you treat those you love, but how you interact with the people who are ‘lower’ than you.