Updated: Dec 3, 2020
Not too long ago, I brought my car in to the dealer, to have my front daytime running lights repaired during a routine oil change. I would have fixed it myself but it was under warranty so why not have someone else do it for free?
A nice friendly fellow named John checked me in and told me they’d look at the problem and let me know the cost for repairs. Shortly, after about an hour of waiting, he called me back to the counter.
As he ran down the numbers with me, he said that the problem with the light was that one of the wires that were running to it had been damaged and that this was most likely caused by an animal such as a mouse.
He then told me the repair was complete and that there would be an additional $70 added to the cost of the oil change. This was obviously unexpected and I was immediately put off by the fact that I was never asked to authorize the charges. As a technician by trade, I knew that wires were easy to fix and I could have made the repair myself at home. All John had to do was tell me that it wasn’t covered under warranty.
When I pointed this out, he apologized and told me there was nothing he could do. He started spouting off words about policies and such but I wasn’t really paying attention because I was too busy contemplating the merits of causing a scene. I’m sure that if I had made a big enough fuss about it in front of the other customers, he would have gotten a manager involved and I would have certainly gotten my refund. After all, I’ve seen others do it and they got their way so why not me? This wasn’t my fault. It was John who dropped the ball, he should pay for it!
Instead of complaining, however, I decided to accept the circumstances of the present moment. Instead of allowing anger to take over, I felt it and let it pass—transmuted by gratitude for the abundance that allowed me to have a new car in the first place and the means to maintain it. I can do this because I know who I am in truth, I know what I am in truth and I know how I serve. Because I know who I am, I know who John is and as I claim him in truth, I can understand that he is providing service to the best of his ability. People make mistakes and that’s okay, and because I know how I serve, my true self knows that no matter the circumstances, I can respond with kindness.
“I have come.”
With a smile, I told him that I didn’t agree with it but that it was okay. I provided my credit card and in return, John gave me my keys and receipt and I was on my merry way. I decided I was going to forget about the whole situation and enjoy the fact that I didn’t have to repair the car myself as it was all taken care of, (one less thing for my lengthy to-do list). I was going to enjoy the rest of my day. It really was okay.
About 10 minutes down the road, I got a phone call; it was John. He proceeded to tell me that he felt bad about the situation and that he had spoken to his manager. They reversed the charges for the repair and I would see the funds transfer back into my account in a day or two.
Surprised about the turn of events, I thanked him and told him I appreciated his effort.
At its heart, this is just a simple story about how kindness favors the giver. But is there more to learn from this?
It’s easy to see in this example how the small self could have handled this situation. When we dwell in survival we dwell in ego or in other words, we are who we think we are, not who we KNOW we are. The egoistic self recognizes how the body behaves or what the small mind thinks. I am who I am because of the car I drive or the clothes I wear. I am who I am because of the job I have or the amount of money I make or the awards I’ve been given or because of my achievements. The small self has many names, but the true self knows she or he is none of these things. The one who knows or the true self will act in a greater way.
You could say, ”well, it’s easy to be kind when you have money,” but it isn’t money that makes you kind. Money is just energy waiting to be manifested as material and anyone regardless of ego can have it, but kindness is the act of the one who knows and it is the manifestation of the divine by those who dare to express it.
Is it kindness that got me a refund? Perhaps, but when you know who you are, kindness stands alone in truth to the fulfillment of its purpose and the outcome is no longer the thing that matters. In other words, I would have been happy either way, but the universe always reflects back to us our full expression of being.