Unwind, Be Kind

Sunday, 21 November 2010
I was stressed out yesterday at work. My story assignment changed when we were almost to the first story and I was kind of tired. We drove around rural East Tennessee trying to get interviews about and video of a dog that was shot 3 times and starved. A woman found the dog and took it to the vet and it is expected to live.

When we finally made it to the vet's office to do the interview, we had to wait in the lobby for 15 minutes. While waiting, 2 young children started hovering around me and asking 100 questions about being "on TV." They were loud, they would scream, jump up and down and run around and no one seemed to be watching them.

Internal dialog: I really wish we could just get video of the dog while the vet is busy so we can get out of here sooner. Why are these kids acting like crazy fools? If she steps on my boots one more time... No, I don't want your post-it note pen/highlighter picture. I can't even tell what that's a drawing of... Sunshine? That's original.

To the kids' faces, I smiled, answered questions but acted aloof.

Later, after the interview, I noticed the children (there was later a third one in the mix) were hanging all over one of the people who worked there. She was trying to give them hugs and reassure them while working, interacting with pet owners and dealing with a TV news crew.

While I waited for my photographer to get an extra shot of the dog going back into his crate, I sat back down in the lobby. My mood was lighter because the weight of getting the vet to interview had been lifted. The little girls scurried back over to me.

I said, "Is that your mom?" The little one said, "No, that's our Mamaw." "My mom is... well... I don't want to... tell you about my mom. She is not here and that's why my Mamaw watches us. My mom (this part she said whispering) is not a very nice person."

I took the time to look at the kids. They were healthy and dressed nicely but they weren't smiling. They had a hollow look in their eyes and needed attention. My heart sank thinking about the time I could have spent being nice to them (just a few minutes!) and giving them something positive to concentrate on.  I am ashamed of how I acted.

It was a good reminder to spend extra time using love and kindness to communicate - even with strangers. You never know what someone else is going through and how an unselfish gesture or extra effort to give a genuine smile can go a long way.

1 comment

Natasha said...

Great post and so very true. You never know what people are going through or what story they have that isn't being shown on the surface...I am proud it was a moment for you to reflect..love you