A call wakened me at 8:01 this morning. A familiar-sounding voice asked, “Carol?”
“Yes?” I queried groggily.
“I’m calling because I want to deliver to you a check in the amount of $950,000.”
“Thank you. I’m not interested.” And I hung up.
Then I got mad at myself. Why the dickens was I POLITE? I’m convinced this was the same voice that called me several weeks ago, saying he wanted to give me 5.2 million dollars from the Trump Magazine Sweepstakes. It was a scam the first time, and no less this second time.
Why didn’t I say “You’re a scammer and I’ve reported you to the police?” (which I had after the last call). Politeness and courtesy are wonderful gifts to give and receive. But not everyone deserves them, nor do I owe graciousness to someone who is trying to steal my identity, my money, my time. I don’t have to be nasty. But I don’t have to be nice either.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not always gracious. I have friends who can attest to that. However, politeness has been ingrained in me. In college I thought I needed to be “God’s happiest person” and so I smiled at everyone … people I knew, strangers/men I didn’t know … my intention was good (to reflect the love of Christ) but I was incredibly naïve. One of my brothers pounced on me and told me to quit smiling, particularly at men I didn’t know. Thanks, Arnold!
I’d like to think I’ve gotten less naïve and more astute over the years but I still have some of that “pleasing” others mentality. I want to become context-appropriate rather than simply polite.
Kinda hard to do when you’ve caught me just waking up. But being authentic includes confronting people when they try to take advantage of me or of those I love. So, here goes–a new, less kind Carol coming up. You can check in with me if you’d like and I’ll let you know how it’s going.