Hands up if you like parking attendants or traffic wardens? If you’ve ever received a parking ticket (guilty!) then you might not feel very kindly towards them, but stop and think for a minute: what actually upsets you?
It might be that you’re frustrated with yourself for not paying attention to the parking signs, the signs weren’t clear enough or perhaps you’re upset with the local council for inadequate parking facilities? Whatever the reason, it is not personal to the person whose job it is to put a ticket on your car! Can you imagine what it must be like for that person to daily receive rude comments and abuse just for doing their job?
Jaime Thurston of 52 Lives says:
“When we judge people by their profession, we cease to see them as individuals. Try to override assumptions and bias.”
I love the example that Jesus gave us of this as he related to tax collectors and prostitutes. He cared for them as people, rather than seeing their job role or the things they had done. He inspired the tax collector to operate with integrity and gave the prostitute the courage to change her lifestyle. Kindness can transform people’s lives.
So even if you’re annoyed about your ticket, stop and think. Does the traffic warden really deserve abuse? Can I be pleasant and kind even if I don’t think I really deserved the ticket? Let’s spread a bit of kindness and who knows it might just be returned to you when you don’t expect it.