LETTERING: By Ian Barnard as part of his recent project Inkwell

when you have a bad day; a really bad day, try and treat the world better than it treated you.
— Patrick Stump

I write these lines after a few days of event styling. Despite my tired body and mind, I look back with joy; given the beautiful results of the project. It is; however, a particular experience within the design process that I feel inspired to share.

A few months ago, I was printing a few graphics and I requested help from one of the staff members at a printing company. My request pertained to a specific type of paper offered as an option in the past; however, a usually lovely lady insisted that this particular paper was not offered as an option unless I paid an unreasonable amount for it. What she mentioned seemed out of the ordinary - this was not my first time printing there, and my tired-self frowned upon it; instead of just asking for simple clarification.

I decided to go back at a later time when I had all necessary materials on hand; but as I left, I knew I had not been the most pleasant person to the lady assisting, so I felt a bit silly. I knew I would have to go back to the same establishment eventually, and my pride crunched my heart.

The following time I went back to the same printer, I was assisted by a very lovely staff member and I left with everything that was needed and more. I was grateful, but somehow, I still remembered my previous incident with the other employee.

This week, as I worked on yet another project, I noticed that the one person available to help, was the lady previously mentioned, and filled with pride, I went about my business; however, my heart knew there was a little corner that needed to persevere in love; especially in the small opportunities one is given.

As I began to make some paper cuts, I realized that I was short on time, so I inquired about help for a particular stack of items. She provided a very dry "yes", and proceeded to announce the price for each cut, to which I peacefully replied with a "yes please, that would be wonderful."

At that point, I went back to finish cutting the rest of my items and she began to work on the stack I provided. As I made progress, I began to reflect on whether it would be appropriate to clarify the confusion, we both had a few weeks ago, and let her know I was sorry if I sounded a bit stressed.

After completing my task, I approached the counter and she walked towards me with a worried look. She asked whether I had brought extra paper as she had made a mistake with the cuts and ruined the job. I calmly added that I did not have any extra paper, but would not mind using some of theirs to reprint the job. She showed me the options and one of them included the same type of paper that originated tension on my previous visit.

After I re-printed everything and she made the correct cuts, she apologized and added that she would not charge for them. She said it had been a long day and her eyes were a bit teary. I told her not to worry at all; that I understood perfectly well, as we have all experienced those kind of days.

As I left the place, I was deeply grateful for the opportunity to reconnect humanly with her. I was glad we were both given the opportunity for humility and rectification.

What a great peace is felt when we practice compassion towards one another; regardless of our own little battles and sense of urgency.

A simple lesson of forgiveness within ordinary events of life...