Sponsored by Keith A. Veres, CPA, CGMA
I used to love the television show "Happy Days" --and yes, I know I'm dating myself by admitting that. #IAm50
I was just a little girl when the show debuted but I do believe my siblings and I probably watched every episode during its 10-year run on ABC. "Happy Days" was a G-rated sitcom about life in 1950s "Americana." It centered around an ordinary, middle class family consisting of a hardware store owner, Howard Cunningham, his wife Marion (a happy homemaker) and their three children: Chuck (who was always away at college as I recall), super smart, squeaky-clean teen Richie (the unsung hero) and baby girl (read: brat, if you ask me) Joanie.
Richie's best pals were Potsy (on whom I had a mad crush) and Ralph Malph (a red-haired, freckled boy whose boasts always landed him and the rest of the gang in hot water). The trio often had to be rescued by teen heartthrob Arthur Fonzarelli, a high school dropout but mechanic extraordinaire who became an over-the-garage tenant of the Cunninghams...and a third son/big brother to the fam.
Fonzie was always getting everybody out of a jam because he was a black-leather-jacket wearing tough guy and the self-proclaimed and undisputed King of Cool. But even Fonzie got it wrong sometimes, which is why he and Richie were the perfect pair of opposites.
I remember in one episode, Richie was trying to talk Fonzie out of fighting with some punk who clearly deserved a thumping for having done some mean thing. But Richie was appealing to Fonzie's kinder, gentler side by evoking the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you'd have them do to you. He told Fonzie to turn the other cheek to which the Fonz replied, "What? And let him hit me TWICE?"
It feels like that some days. Like showing someone a kindness, a courtesy, some empathy or even a little forgiveness is really just giving them an opportunity to whomp you on the other side of your face. Know what? Do it, anyway.
I'm not suggesting allowing yourself to be a punching bag physically or emotionally. NOT EVER. What I AM saying is, we never know what someone else is going through; that gruff, tough exterior might just be hiding some major fear or pain. Try tossing a little kindness out there and you'd be surprised at how often they soften, Capsice?
And if that doesn't work; maybe let the Fonz smack the back of their head ever so gently.
#Empathy #Kindness #Compassion #GoldenRule