Karate Kid

My job in the marketing department of a company supplying IC engine parts to OEM's involves extensive communication- both internal and external. I sometimes don the role of supplier, sometimes customer and sometimes team member.

A recent conversation with a particular OEM customer left me pondering. I handle a multitude of people day in and day out but, this particular person always managed to weary me. Our conversations seemed to, at times, border on rudeness. So I contemplated.

Here is what I realized- human rudeness is most often an act of self- defence. But unlike karate or any other martial art, it does not stem from disciplining and is an impulse reaction. We feel threatened that if we deal gently, we would not be listened to or that we'd be run over, even if we have the truth on our side, or sometimes, just to shake people off our back!

This is when a quote from St Francis De Sales flashed across my mind. He said, " There is nothing as strong as gentleness and as gentle as real strength."

He had nailed it. Strength is synonymous with gentleness which is opposed to rudeness.

Christ's way of love for God & neighbor does not allow for rudeness.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Love is not rude

Rudeness, which is a crasness in our nature,  jumps out at us in the most mundane instances, like when the auto driver cuts across our path unexpectedly or when the cat jumped on to the sofa and spread its fur all over.

These ordinary instances where we let our tranquility be disturbed because things are not going exactly as we want them, we are blocking divine grace and sowing bad seeds of resentment , mistrust in God &  man, and negativity in our minds, environment.

Take your weakness to the Lord. Because he is the only source of real strength. Choose to make him the one judge whose judgement you need to first care about.

Isaiah 8:12 Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what it fears, or be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall regard as holy; let him be your dread.

Then things will find their proper place and perspective. We would then know to differentiate firmness from rudeness and we would also feel the need to do so!