I've found during my lifetime that it is hard to be nice to rude people. On the other hand, it’s easy to be nice to people who smile at you, to people who say kind words, and to people who are polite. But not everyone is that way, and the problem can be even more evident during the holidays.


I've found during my lifetime that it is hard to be nice to rude people. On the other hand, it’s easy to be nice to people who smile at you, to people who say kind words, and to people who are polite. But not everyone is that way, and the problem can be even more evident during the holidays.
Holidays bring out the best and worst of people. How do we respond to grouchy people, or to people who are rude, or to those who act selfishly? Love them? Something in me doesn’t want to. I'll admit it, when someone is rude to me, I really want to be rude back...we jokingly used to call it “flesh out and repent later.” The fact is, I usually do notice when others do me wrong. It is human nature to notice. However, retaliating just creates more problems.
Although some act as if it were their calling in life, I don't believe we are called to stir up trouble, judge others, or to offend others by word or action. What we are called to is to not even notice when others do us wrong, to overcome evil with good, to esteem the other person better than ourselves, and not only to avoid strife but to pursue peace. That is a high calling, one not possible for mere mortal man without unhindered heavenly help.
However, what I want most is to treat others as I like to be treated. When I make mistakes, I really appreciate it when people overlook my errors. When I fail, I’m indebted to people who allow me to fail and love me anyway. My precious family does that for me. That’s called grace.
Grace is defined as unmerited favor—something not earned. Don’t you just love being accepted “as is” like the “as is” garment which has some inherent flaw? If you purchase it, you do so with the knowledge and intent of overlooking that flaw. We all run our race in life with inherent personality flaws, never really attaining the perfection that we fully expect in others.
Since I appreciate it done for me, does it really hurt me to overlook others' mistakes and unmannerly actions? Does it really matter that someone took their bad mood out on me? Does it hurt me to offer a smile anyway? Which reaction is going to make me feel better about myself? And maybe a smile is just what that person needed.
I spent most of my lifetime at odds with my dad. He was somewhat hard to get along with and I had no particular PR skills of my own. I was his one-child-of-three who didn’t know when to keep quiet. After my mother died in 1988, oddly, it fell upon me to help Dad through the last 11 years of his life.  Probably one of the best accomplishments in my life was when I learned to love my dad unconditionally. The rest of our days were the best of our days together.
Everyone wants to be loved. The general rule seems to be that women want to be loved and men want to be admired. Our thirsty souls tend to gobble up kindness like continuously drying sponges, always needing refreshing with some watering of acceptance.
If you’re looking apprehensively toward holiday relationships, I personally recommend loving others with the grace that you love to receive yourself. Make the quality decision to extend grace to others. Love them “as is,” and see if the rest of your days might not be the best of your days.