At my local grocery store, they have these cool registers that allow you to self-checkout. I love using them. I was at the store on Wednesday, and after grabbing the few items I needed I started scanning my groceries.
On my way to the checkout, I briefly notice a man and woman having a conversation while standing in the entrance to the cereal aisle. As I started my checkout their conversation began to get a little more intense. Eventually the man started yelling at the woman, and I stopped to glance up at them. Once I start to pay closer attention, I realize that the woman is the store manager, and the yelling man is a dissatisfied customer. Even though I can't hear every word they're speaking, it's obvious that he is not happy. He starts to get louder and louder, until eventually he is screaming at her.
I immediately started to feel intensely uncomfortable.
I hate yelling.
As someone who grew up in a house, where there was lots of yelling and screaming, I sometimes find it hard to be in intense situations. I want to flee them instantly.
On my way home in the car, I was praying, and questioning...
Is yelling at someone ever okay?
I'm not talking about yelling at someone to warn them of danger, or the teenage girl who yells for Justin Bieber.
I'm talking about screaming and yelling at another human being.
Do we ever deserve the right to speak to another person like that?
I think in this instance, the man in the store was yelling because he felt like he wasn't being heard. But the ironic thing is that when we start yelling, we become so intent on getting OUR point across, WE STOP LISTENING.
If we really believe that we are all created in the image of God, when we yell at another person, aren't we really yelling at God?
I think witnessing this situation really made me stop and look at how I treat people. I know how yelling makes me feel...have I ever made someone feel like that? Have I ever ignored the divine in someone else, wanting to get my message across so badly that I didn't care how it made them feel?
The sad thing, is that I'm sure I have.
What I learned on Wednesday is that the heart of conflict isn't who's right or wrong...it's in how we choose to treat each.
Would love to hear your feedback...What are your thoughts on yelling?