I was recently sitting at a holiday meal when our host started to serve soup.
When I was served my soup, I sat patiently, with my hands in my lap, waiting for everyone else to be served and for the host to sit down.
To me, this was the respectful thing to do.
The right thing to do.
As clear as night and day.
Well, the person to my left obviously had another opinion because as soon as he was served, he started to eat.
In fact, he was drinking the remainder of his soup (yes, literally) even before the host had a chance to sit down.
I was appalled.
In my mind, I wanted to parent this person (who, by the way, wasn’t my child).
I wanted to tell this person that this is not the correct way to behave.
I wanted to teach this person a thing or two about respect.
And then the host came back to the table, saw the empty bowl, and chuckled to the eater, “Hey, why don’t you have some soup, won’t you?”
Was the host laughing?
He wasn’t upset?
Thank goodness I caught myself before I opened my mouth.
And, had the chance to just notice.
Perhaps I wasn’t right?
Perhaps there is no right and wrong here?
Perhaps even if there is, I’m really only responsible for my behavior, not his.
So, I just sat there.
And, smiled at that realization.
And then, I was able to enjoy my soup.