I was thinking about acceptance and the Serenity Prayer this morning right before I came upon a news story about a “fast food worker” telling the CEO of McDonald’s she can’t feed her kids on the $8.25 an hour she makes after 10 years with his company. She had accepted this job for 10 years. Now apparently her hours have been cut since she made the public statement. The article did not say anything about whether she had asked for a raise previously or about her performance. The CEO’s response, that he had been with the company for 40 years, was not only dismissive, but rude. He didn’t say how much he made. He should have taken her name and said, “We’ll look into your history and work performance and get back to you.”
My recommendation to the employee would be to ask this question: “What do I need to do to get a raise?” The employee needs to sit down with any supervisor who will give her some time (by asking, when is a good time to talk?) and ask if it’s possible to get a raise and how can she do it. If she is told “it’s not possible,” (which I wouldn’t believe) then it’s time to find another job. It’s human to want to share that you are struggling to feed your two kids, but the focus needs to be on: How can I change this? instead of “I can’t….”
Acceptance doesn’t mean we have to like it. But when we catch ourselves thinking, “I can’t…,” we need to focus on changing the things we can. What are the small steps you can take to improve on a situation you don’t like? Small steps can add up to big changes. The things we can change fall under two categories: our thoughts and our actions. Thoughts make up our attitudes and beliefs. We can always tweak our thoughts for the better. Our actions include changing our clothes, our our tone of voice and how we breathe. In any situation, we can always take a deeper or longer breath, well unless we’re under water, then we can kick our feet and swim to the surface. (That’s what I get for questioning my “always.”) Taking a deeper or longer breath can help calm us into wiser decisions or give us strength to face a challenge. But we can always pray and we can ask for help when we need it. How we ask for help makes a big difference. If we only criticize what’s wrong, we are less likely to get help. If we ask, “How can we make this better?” we move toward a solution.
Have Courage and ask the right questions!
God, grand me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference…..Amen.