Life Lessons from the Bar

I always laugh at the reaction from people when they ask me where I work. 

Preschool teacher by day, bartender by night.

I realize it seems like a contradiction, but there are some days these two jobs go together pretty well. Like on days where I've had enough of 3-year-olds and need some adult interaction. Or on days where I can break through cold hearts/broken lives in the bar by telling a precious story about my preschoolers. Sometimes, I need both to balance out.

Last night was a particularly slow night @ the bar. Not much to do but clean every nook I could think of. And when I clean - watch out! - I think.

I was thinking that every now again, I let that place suck me in. If I let it, it can effect my attitude, my demeanor, and my language. There are a lot of days I don't want to be there. But then I remember the little lessons I never thought I'd learn from working in a bar:

1. God is everywhere
I've posted about this before, but it's amazing to me how God meets me in places I don't expect. Like the lives of broken people in a bar, pouring beer. Hearts are open and receptive, people are looking for something more...

2. Everyone is vulnerable
I had this false notion in my head that worldy people have made it in their minds that God is not for them and they've put this armor on against anything religious. That is simply not true. In most cases, I find that people believe but don't know how to transform their lives. They don't know where to start. They have baggage they think is too much for God. They are vulnerable, just like everyone else in the world.

3. Everyone hurts
I know a few people (regulars) that have a lot of money. I mean a lot. Like they could pay off my life debt and not blink an eye. As jealousy starts creeping in, it's always stopped with the understanding that their lives are broken too. Money most certainly does not buy happiness. Even people who seem to have everything hurt. And need.

4. Man is Good
I see a lot of evil working in a bar. A lot of infidelity, gossip, deceit, gambling, drugs, etc. But what I've learned is that underneath all that, people are innately good. People love. And give. And sacrifice. Some days, I see more good deeds passed through the bar than through the church.

5. A smile goes a long way
If I could measure this lesson in a tangible way, the evidence would be astounding. I can't count how many times a simple smile has eased someone's pain, made some feel welcomed, or has broken barriers. I've had people return as customers because of a smile. I could measure it from tips received because it helps, but it's so much more than that. This is true with so many things in life. When you approach a situation with a smile, it's hard to not have a different perspective on things.

Some days, I need these reminders. I'll take these life lessons with me wherever I go.

1 comment:

Jenny said...

I love this post. You state so many of my personal beliefs here. About people. And life. Thank you for the thoughtful post. And cute blog, BTW!


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