“Do you mind?”
Have you heard these words spoken in irritation, in frustration, or in anger? Have you heard them used more as an exclamation than a question? Picture the stressed out commuter after a long day at work as he is being jostled on the train, and when someone inadvertently steps on his foot he snaps, “Do you mind!” Or the woman sitting in the movies as the person seated behind her repeatedly taps his foot against her chair. She lets it go for a few minutes, but each little kick sets her jaw on edge until she finally turns and huffs, “Do you mind!” The person issuing this exclamation is often wearing an expression like this one:
I, for one, prefer that “do you mind” be issued as the question that it rightfully should be. So if you don’t mind (ah, you see what I did there), please indulge me as I attempt to restore these three little words to their proper, pleasant use.
Do you mind if I compliment you on the lovely scarf you are wearing? It goes perfectly with that sweater. May I ask where you bought it?
Do you mind if I pay for your coffee this morning? I know you don’t know me, but I promise I’m not hitting on you. I don’t have an ulterior motive. It is simply a small gesture that starts my day, and hopefully yours, with a smile.
Do you mind if I call you tonight? It’s been a long time since we engaged in a marathon phone chat, and I miss hearing your voice. Yes, it is nicer than texting for a change.
Do you mind if I stop by on my way home from work? I have that book you have been dying to read. No, of course it isn’t any trouble, and it gives me an excuse to see you for a few minutes.
Do you mind if we treat one another just a bit better? If we practice more patience?
Do you mind if we exercise restraint rather than lashing out on impulse? Can we act out of kindness instead of anger?
Do you mind if we do our best to fill the world with love and understanding? Might we try to see things from perspectives other than our own?
Do you mind if I take a moment to tell you that I appreciate you? Yes, I do mean you, the you who is reading this right now. I know that you have millions of other things you could be doing right now. Do you know what it means to me that you have chosen to be here, reading my words, sharing my thoughts, and interacting with me? I do not mind telling you that it means the world to me, that all of you mean the world to me.
There now, I feel better. I hope you did not mind (sorry, I’m having trouble stopping now) the repetition. With any luck you are wearing an expression like this one:
I leave you with wishes for a happy Sunday and a wonderful week ahead. You don’t mind, do you? Cheers! Karen
All photo credits to: http://www.pixabay.com