Have you ever had a great day going when someone in a really bad mood calls you or starts to talk to you? When that happens, do you resolve not to let their bad day impact your great one?
It’s a little like what happens to milk with vinegar. A glass of milk can be cold and refreshing. But if you pour a tablespoon of vinegar into that milk, it begins a chemical process where the milk begins to curdle. Cooks do this when they don’t have buttermilk and need a quick substitute to continue a recipe.
So imagine your great day and good attitude is the glass of milk. There are some people in this world who are just plain full of vinegar to the point it overflows and they want to share the misery. It’s like they stirred a heaping dose of Grumpy Chunks and Sour Cream into their morning bowl of wheaties. They may not even realize they want to share it.
Your job is to cover your glass of milk when the Vinegar Varmints visit. You can still greet Vinegar Varmints with a smile, but keep your heart covered so when they pour their balsamic concoction, it bounces off the sides of your cup and doesn’t impact your great mood.
If someone throws a rock at you, it can be easy to pick that rock up and throw it back at them – maybe twice as hard. But imagine in the long run if you’re having a great day, someone hits you with a rock, and you suddenly start working to return the slam. The moment you do that, your great day can be lost forever.
Is it not better sometimes if someone throws that rock at you to just keep your milk covered and let it bounce off you and then fall to the ground? I sometimes wonder if that’s what the Biblical admonition to turn the other cheek really means. You determine how much power that grumpy chunk lobbed at you really has.
Mind you – if the Vinegar Varmint lobs the Grumpy Chunk at someone else, it’s perfectly fine to protect and defend others.
But if it’s just a rock that’s thrown, it can sometimes be more effective to think:
Just because you stirred Grumpy Chunks and Sour Cream into your morning Wheaties is no reason for me to let your bad mood ruin my great day.