she works at my grocery store.
she's full of life, very friendly, and totally outspoken.
only not this time.
i asked her how she was doing.
she looked at me with an unhappy face and shook her head.
i've heard her struggles before. she's very open. she talks.
only not this time.
she quietly rang up the groceries.
putting the bags in my cart i commented 'you're awfully quiet.'
she whispered to me that they told her to stop talking.
that it was her last warning.
that she'd be fired.
i nodded, gave her the 'i'm so sorry' face.
and kept putting bags in the cart.
i didn't want to get her in trouble.
i watched her quietly ringing the groceries up.
this is what they want? i thought.
i thought of the people who run the place.
and i thought 'yeah, this is what they want.'
and i thought of how she must be feeling.
how it must feel to have the people you work with tell you to be quiet
or you'd be fired. that you weren't right the way you naturally were.
i thought what it'd be like for her to go home.
i've heard of her struggles with an emotionally abusive husband.
talk about a world that says you're no good.
i shot her an 'i care' look and told her to hang in there.
and i sadly pushed my cart out to my car.
i thought of the boxes we make.
that we need to put people in.
that they need to fit in and adapt to or we'll humiliate them.
we put people in them all the time.
maybe not as obvious as this one.
maybe we don't outright humiliate someone.
but do we make them feel 'different' in some way?
don't we all do that to each other in small ways all the time?
we're not so innocent as we think.
how about a roll of the eyes? a sarcastic comment?
i know i do this even tho i try not to.
i know i do.
and i don't know.........i'm just feelin' like tryin' real hard never to do it again.
the world kicks so hard so often.
gonna hold my actions with awareness today.
and i'm thinking that here's something about that very awareness that has power in it.