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.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

“Homosexuality in America,” Life, 26 June 1964, pp. 66-80....
Dave Ross

Ross: How the suburbs guard ‘birds-and-the-bees’ chatter

I saw a copy of LIFE magazine on the living room coffee table that featured a two-page spread captioned “Homosexuality in America.”
19 hours ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Have Seattleites gone soft on crime?

The Seattle Police Department recently came out with some advice on what to do if a burglar breaks in while you’re at home. The advice… is to get out, ASAP.
2 days ago
Governor Kevin Stitt (R-OK) speaks during a roundtable at the White House (Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: Why Oklahoma’s stance on abortion will echo throughout the country

12 states have trigger laws that take effect if Roe v Wade is overturned – and Oklahoma is one of them.
3 days ago
Katie Wussler, a program coordinator at Mother & Child Education Center, checks the lot number on a...
Dave Ross

Ross: Baby formula shortage puts new mothers in difficult spot

I’m having trouble accepting that the US is dealing with a baby formula shortage – especially when the main advice is do NOT try to make your own.
6 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Are vasectomies the best form of birth control?

A Tweet caught my attention because it was a sketch for a short story about a world where abortions aren’t necessary.
7 days ago
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) (Getty Images)...
Dave Ross

Ross: A dip in the stock market asks us to look at our savvy non-investments

The way stocks have been melting over the past 16 months, those of us with the courage to open the monthly statement are wondering how low can they go…
8 days ago

Sponsored Articles


Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Ross: The best gift you can give to any child is to teach them to chill