Put A Lid On It

It’s a scene that is played out everyday….probably hourly, at coffee shops and eating establishments around the world. You see a group of people, or even a party of one, suddenly jump up from their table. And, if there are any electronics on the table, say a  cell phone, computer, mp3player, or even a key that doubles as a remote, people are scrambling to get them. Yep, you guessed it, someone has spilled their drink.  Before you know it, there’s a body of liquid moving towards your electronics, papers and even your clothes. I’ve seen people move at the speed of light to save their electronics,  or whatever it is, that they cannot bare to have soaked. And finally, more often that not, the spill is something that we absolutely did not see coming.

Yesterday, I was one of the supporting characters in just one of those scenes. I was meeting with my partners for the Social Strategy Project, when suddenly one of them spilled her pomegranate lemonade. And we before we knew it, the big pink tidal wave had displaced everything on the table, only to find a home in the white pants of the girl who spilled her drink.  We immediately sprung into action, grabbing the electronics on the table, notebooks, cell phones, and wiping  them down. (all of them were fine) Interestingly, we all grabbed the items closest to us,  and not the ones we owned.  And together, with a  lot of help from the staff at the restaurant, we had the spill cleaned up in no time. Well, not all of the mess, our friend in the white pants now looked like she was wearing a tye dye project gone wrong. As we moved back to the scene of the crime, the girl who had spilled her drink, returned to the table with a new drink and then remarked: “Wait, I need to put a lid on it.” We all laughed…but all of us put grabbed lids for our drinks.

It dawned on me later, that I’ve seen that scene play out many times and not only in coffee shops or restaurants, but in businesses, homes, schools and even playgrounds. And it’s not some liquid that’s got everyone on the run, it’s negative remarks, criticism that’s not constructive, or something as simple as a crankiness. And if we are honest, we’ve all been that person at one time or another.  And, we’ve been the one who wanted to run.  Another interesting point is that we will work harder to save our things than biting our tongue.

Chasing goodness is all about fine tuning our filters to shut out those negative remarks, biting sarcasm….the list goes on, whether you are dishing it out or on the receiving end. We need to “put a lid on it”…all of it.  Look for the goodness in situations and recognize accidents do happen.  Our spill yesterday, was nothing but a tiny blip in our day, and within minutes, we were laughing about the situation.  We continued our discussion as soon as our mess was cleaned up, and we accomplished our goal. If we had allowed that spill to be anything more than a blip, to frustrate us, or irritate us, we might not have accomplished our goal.  Think about your day and the accidents or the interruptions, how did you approach them? Are your filters tuned to put a lid on it?

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