Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Peace begats peace

A gifted writing friend, Ann Hite, wrote in her blog: "If you want peace, be peace."

She picked it up somewhere in her reading and passed it along.

The words conjured up an experience or maybe I should say a shift I've made in my own attitude.

Telemarketing calls infuriate me on many levels. They come at inopportune times, most of mine are computers with a canned message or someone with a foreign accent mauling my name. The worst are those who act as if we're old friends and won't take no, just keep hammering at me.

I'd slam phones down, yell at them to "Take me off of your list! Don't call again." And worse.

My son worked as a telemarketer for awhile and would tell of the horrid way he was treated. But that didn't stop me. I just couldn't seem to stop the anger.

These days I'm receiving more and more phone calls from clients, editors, colleagues. It is a sign of success, I tell myself. In an effort to promote good relationships and demonstrate business etiquette, I answer the phone with a more harmonious, welcoming voice.

Because I don't always recognize the name of the caller, I continue to be congenial. I still hang up on computer generated calls and tell telemarketers to "Take me off your list." But I do it with a smile in this new kinder, gentler phone voice.

My expectations when answering the phone have changed. Maybe something good is awaiting me instead of frustration and discourtesy. I feel better.

I really am more at peace. I like myself better. And as weird as that may seems, the new attitude makes it easier to deal with telemarketers and unwanted phone calls. And it is spilling over into other aspects of my life. Peace comes from within. Only we can control the way we act or react to others or situations. And as much as you want to say, "No I can't, it just freaks me out...."

Yes, you can control your emotions, your actions, your reactions.

We can chose to go angry and belligerently into the world, or we can seek the bliss of knowing that 'this too shall pass,' but your imprint on the people you encounter could last a lifetime.

Many people have crossed paths with me in this life -- they might be surprised what I remember about them. I would like to think I left them with a pleasant memory. Some days I still freak out -- but on those days when I can find my balance, my smile -- peace surrounds me like a protective force.

In this world of turmoil and greed, struggle and war, I hope you will strive to find your inner peace. The key to unlocking your peaceful center -- a smile -- real or forced. It is a magic thing that seems contagious, like turning on the tap for happy juice.

The sixties had a great greeting and farewell: Peace. What a great way to start and end an encounter.



Anonymous said...

Our phone company offers a service called No Solicitation. When someone calls our house, they first get a recorded greeting that says if they are soliciting or telemarketing, they are to hang up because this phone number doesn't accept solicitations. If they aren't soliciting, they just press 1 to continue. We have several numbers programmed which bypass the greeting so they don't have to hear it (family, close friends, etc). At first I was afraid it would offend some people, but it's gotten nothing but positive comments--and it's cut the telemarketing almost completely. Well worth the $7 a month it costs.

Sue said...

someone called the house phone before 8 am. it woke me from a nice sleep. i answered it, heard the pause before the connect, and an Indian voice asking me if this was my phone number. i was rude. i didn't let him finish. i hung up. how dare they call before 8 am.

Ruth D~ said...

Besides the fact that a peaceful answer "turneth away wrath," which is the point, I think, of your blog, there is/was a national number or website I went to to be removed from all telemarketing lists. It's been two years and I'm free and clear. No need to gather my resources when I answer the phone.

Dawn said...

Amy! I love the concept of screening calls like this. And Sue, I totally agree! They shouldn't call after 8 at night either.

And Ruth, we're on that list, too! But we get calls primarily from computers now that sometimes just hang up or have dead air or start their recorded messages that even leave messages on the answering machine.

It is amazing to me just how much anger begats anger and now that I withdraw from it, I've found that I have an authority I never expected -- over myself and circumstances and people. Who knew peace could be so powerful!

Thanks for reading my blog and commenting.


Dawn said...

Just in case you doubt whether the right attitude really helps. Here's a link to a news story that reinforces that belief.

The robber came in to take their money, instead he joined the party, sipped some wine, ate some cheese, had a group hug and left.

Bob Sanchez said...

The Do Not Call list has proved a blessing. I still receive a couple of unwanted calls on most days. If it's a recording, I simply hang up; if it's a human, I'll politely say, "I'm not interested, thank you," and hang up quietly without engaging them in coversation. I used to be rude, but I no longer want rudeness to be part of my life. I realize that telemarketers are just folks trying to do a job and that they take a lot of grief. The way I look at it, once I've hung up, they are free to call someone who might be interested.

My brother recently got out of my car to hassle someone ahead of us for not moving at a traffic light. The person was stuck. I thought my brother's rudeness was uncalled for. Life is short, and I only have time for peace.