Ross: The best gift you can give to any child is to teach them to chill

Jan 11, 2022, 6:13 AM | Updated: 9:31 am
Customers wear face masks as they line up to enter a Costco Wholesale store in 2020 in Maryland. (File photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
(File photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

I was grocery shopping yesterday and noticed a new sign in the window.

It said, “We are currently short staffed. PLEASE be kind to those who showed up. We are doing our very best.”

I did a quick search – those signs started appearing a couple of months ago. In fact, I saw an image of one of them posted on Reddit, under the comment, “Have you considered paying a living wage?”

OK, fair point. If the stores paid more, they might attract more workers. But then, maybe not. Who wants to work in a place where you need a sign to remind the customers about their manners?

But the real puzzler here is – even IF lousy wages are the reason for the long lines, why would you get angry at the person who showed up?

The service is slow because there aren’t enough workers and therefore you get in the face of the workers who ARE there?

Makes no sense. Your beef is with the employees who AREN’T there – or the faceless corporation that runs the place. Not the people who showed up.

But as we know from brain scans, when people get angry, the rational part of the brain is the first to go. And I also know there’s no point in scolding anyone who behaves that way, because they’ll just get angrier.

There’s only one thing we can do as a society, and that is, from this day forward, all of you who have young children, make it your mission in life to teach them patience.

It’s not easy. Children are born wanting what they want when they want it – every nursing mother knows that – but you, as the parent, have to prepare them for the world they’re entering. It’s a world where there will be many tests of patience: the forever pandemic; the crazy weather which could leave you stuck overnight in a line of snowed-in vehicles; elections that take months to settle. It’s also a world where you have to assume that everybody is armed.

So, the best gift you can give to any child is to teach them to chill.

I’m happy to say that while there was a line at the checkout yesterday, there were no temper tantrums, and I even saw people with full baskets deferring to people who had only a few items – which at least for a moment made me think that democracy can be saved after all.

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Ross: The best gift you can give to any child is to teach them to chill