Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Reptilan Rant at Chic-fil-a

Unless you’ve been living under a rock these last couple of weeks, no doubt you’ve heard of the Chic-fil-a heckler, Adam Smith and the more cerebral response by Rachel, the clerk .

Without going into the politics of this all, I wanted to discuss what can happen physiologically when we get passionate and angry about something. I think on some level, we can all relate to him.

Just in the interest of full disclosure, I have not spoken to him, these are my own musings, based upon the two Youtube videos he posted.

Upon hearing the owner of Chic-fil-a’s controversial stance on a hot issue, he was  indignant about what he saw as an injustice. It was something he felt he couldn’t or shouldn’t be silent on. He was acting on Jackson Pierce’s suggestion to order a free water, and make a video, as a way of taking a stand.

c. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
“I planned to peacefully participate in the Aug 1st You tube post where Jackson Pierce ask people to simply order a large water to show support for the gay community, but when I got to [Rachel’s] window and after seeing all the people I lost it, just lost it. I couldn’t believe the number of people who came out to support Chic fil a.”

Losing it, resulted in allowing his reptilian brain take control, and taking his anger out on an innocent clerk [who handled herself so much better than I would have] on camera. Unfortunately, thanks to the internet, the video went viral within a matter of hours.

Rachel, on the other hand, didn’t let herself react to him. Rather, she responded, which requires higher brain functions. [It’s hard. I would have been tempted to be snarky, which wouldn’t have helped matters at all]. She didn’t feed his fire, and it quickly died out.

His actions were powered by emotion, fueled by adrenaline. Very little thinking was involved. After he had time to think about the ramifications of what he had done, he made a second video with an apology.

“I’m sorry for treating you so inhumanely….While I might not agree with everyone’s views, I want to always treat the other person with respect. I didn’t do that with you.”

“You handled my frustrating rant with such dignity and composure every time I watch the video I am blown away by really the beauty in what you did in your  kindness your patience….”

He apologized for his behavior, while not backing down on the issue that he was passionate about. He realized that belligerence rarely solves anything, and admitted, “We have to start seeing people as people. we aren’t ever going to make social progress by attacking people.”

He told Rachel, “Your peacefulness will take you a long way.”

c. 2012

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