Responding to Mistreatment: Taking the Road Less Traveled
Kendall sat at her desk feverishly amending a report that she had already spent numerous hours on. Her supervisor, Rhonda, said that it wasn’t up to par only 30 minutes before their department meeting, even though Kendall turned it in days before. Rhonda always found ways to make Kendall’s job harder than it needed to be, and was secretly envious because Kendall was sharp and more educated than she was. Rhonda basically felt her position could possibly be in jeopardy because of that.
Kendall finished the changes in time for the meeting, but Rhonda made sure to comment on how inconvenient it was to have to ask for the changes. Rhonda even went as far as talking with her own manager, Greg, about Kendall on different occasions. She knew she couldn’t say much about Kendall’s work performance because Kendall always did things in a timely, efficient fashion, so she told Greg that Kendall probably was not the best fit for the department in terms of her personality and ability to mesh with the team.
The day before the company allotted time off for Thanksgiving break, Kendall was called in and let go from the company. Although Kendall knew Rhonda did things to her on purpose and didn’t quite care for her, she didn’t think she would go that far.
A few weeks later, just a few days before Christmas, Kendall was snuggled up reading a book. She had her television on mute, and just as she looked up she saw a distraught familiar face on the screen. She scrambled to find her remote, and quickly turned up the volume. It was her former supervisor, Rhonda, sadly telling a local news reporter how she had lost everything in a grease fire at her home. The news story included footage of the home, which was burned down to ashes, and information where donations could be given.
Kendall jotted down the information on where to donate, and began thinking of what she could do. Kendall remembered how poorly Rhonda had treated her, but did not let that deter her from wanting to help her in her time of need. The following day Kendall went and purchased gift cards from Walmart, and IKEA to give to Rhonda so she could be able to replace some of the items she lost. She arrived at the donation center, and saw Rhonda talking with two people. Rhonda looked over and was shocked to see Kendall. Kendall walked over and told her that she heard the news and wanted to help. Rhonda just couldn’t believe Kendall’s kindness after what she had done.
I bet Rhonda is not the only person that is surprised by Kendall’s compassion and benevolence. I’m quite sure many of you who were able to place yourselves in Kendall’s shoes would have probably chalked Rhonda’s situation up to “See there! God don’t like ugly!” or “Upt, look at Karma doing her thing,” and kept reading your book unbothered. Although the saying, “what goes around comes around” rings true, Kendall decided to take the high road and allow her character and integrity to shine through in an instance where she really did not have to.
Displaying kindness, even when people are not so kind towards us, is one of the most valuable and hardest lessons to learn, especially for me personally. Being kind does not imply that we need to be people pleasers, and it is not to encourage us to be pretentious with folks. You should just strive to treat people well, not because they are such great people, but simply because you are a great person.