Saturday night the boyfriend and I decided to splurge on dinner and a discount movie. Big spenders, I know. But this girl has to save money for her birthday trip at the end of the month. Not to mention, all the alcohol that it will take to help her forget that she’s only 1 year away from the big 3-0.
Okay, enough of this 3rd person nonsense. Who do I think I am? Elmo?
Anyway, there we were settling in for our $2 movie when I got a front row seat to Jerkfest 2014. As the lights began to dim, a woman in an electric wheelchair and her guy grabbed the last available handicap spot in the theater. The man to my right, who was reclining so far back in his seat that he was squishing the woman behind him, was not happy with this seating arrangement.
“I CAN’T SEE OVER YOUR HEAD!’ he snarled repeatedly at the woman, who could do nothing but stare back at him blankly.
When the opening credits finally began to play without disruption, I thought his entry for Jerkfest was complete. I never realized that he was aiming for the title of King Jerk. Within a few minutes, his royal highness was requesting that the woman move. That’s right. This able-bodied king of jerks was asking a woman in a wheelchair to move because he couldn’t see. Forget the fact that all the other handicap seats were occupied or that there was an empty seat next to the king. Nope. None of that mattered as he made her move.
I couldn’t believe the audacity of this man sitting one seat away from me. It was all I could do not to call him a jerk to his face. The woman on the other hand handled the situation with a lot of grace and dignity. She didn’t call him any names. She didn’t argue or cause a scene. She just moved. Unfortunately, that meant that she was forced to watch the movie from the center of the isle, while her manfriend sat in the row in front of her. Talk about a date night gone wrong.
It’s situations like this one that make me question the human race. We have put a man the moon, built buildings that kiss the sky, eradicated diseases, and invented the cronut. But we still can’t treat one another with the respect and kindness that we all deserve.
So today I’d like to remind y’all that your actions matter. Kindness matters. Kindness has the power to brighten someone’s day, make people feel less alone, and to change the world. Maybe if King Jerk had acted out of kindness, that woman could have enjoyed a fun movie date with her man sitting next to her. Maybe I would have been commending him for switching seats instead of making a scene. And maybe the world would have been shy one jerk that Saturday night.
So don’t join the ranks of royal jerkiness. Be compassionate. Be respectful. Be kind. And if you can’t be kind, be quiet.