The Garage Sale Thief
We’ve lived in the same house for 10 years and recently we decided that it was time to move on. So we advertised and held our Epic Moving Sale. If you’ve ever had a garage sale, you know that it is a fantastic opportunity to observe human behavior and the mind of a buyer who is confronted with a good deal. The energy surges when more than one buyer is in the mix. People buy things they don’t need simply because of the low price. People do things at garage sales that they just wouldn’t do in other buying scenarios.
One woman at our garage sale wanted to purchase a casserole dish with a carrying case and child’s coloring book. I told her it would be $2 for the casserole dish and $1 for the coloring book – $3 total. She opened her wallet to discover that she only had two dollar bills. She decided to just get the casserole dish. We wanted to get rid of everything, so I told the woman that she could have both items for just the two dollars. She looked at me with surprise, and then she happily gathered everything in her arms and left.
After the woman walked away, my husband said, “You know she just stole from us.” “No,” I replied. “I gave her the extra item.” “No. I mean, she hid something in the casserole dish carrying case. You know that little placard that says ‘Bless This House’? She stole it. Her house totally isn’t going to be blessed.”
I had felt good about giving the woman something for free. When I heard that she TOOK something for free without my knowledge, a fascinating thing happened in my heart. I felt even BETTER about having given her that coloring book on the house, before I knew that she had helped herself to something else.. My gift was in complete alignment with who I wanted to be and how I wanted to interact with people at the sale.
If I had known that woman had hidden the placard in the casserole dish carrying case, I might not have offered her the coloring book for free. There are so many times in life when we have expectations of other people based on previous experiences with them that sway how we will interact with them in the future. You might not give a co-worker a compliment unless they compliment you. You might not be intimate with your spouse if they don’t do the dishes. You might hold off on being playful with your kids because they didn’t listen to you earlier in the day. You might not follow up with a lead because they didn’t respond to your email.
So, how do you show up as the kind, patient, loving, generous person you want to be when people don’t meet your expectations? You decide in advance how you want to interact with people and you commit to responding in the same manner NO MATTER WHAT. You decide that it doesn’t matter if someone else is uncaring, disrespectful, keeps secrets . . . or hurts your bottom line. You are going to embody the characteristics you most desire in the world.
I’ve got to tell you, it feels simply delicious to be in alignment with who you want to be – so delicious, that you won’t even care if someone stole from you.