The Walmart Effect

Going to a Walmart superstore turns me into a crazy person.

Maybe it’s because of what I end up buying for my job at Walmart. Earlier this week I purchased some lovelies for a game we called “Brown Bag Special.” I saw a side of grocery stores I had never seen before. Why does canned meat even exist?

I will never understand why Americans have such an obsession with supermega-stores. Sure, I’d love to buy a couch, a diamond ring, and some spaghettio’s this afternoon. One stop, thank you very much. Also could you add in a McDonald’s and a nail place? Plus florescent lighting to add to the mood. Perfect.

I cannot ever find anything. There have been numerous occasions I’ve cried in Walmart. I’ve prayed things like “Please, oh please Lord, help me find the pudding cups. The cheap ones that aren’t in the refrigeration section. Please?” It makes me want to crumple into a heap of sad, underpriced, overprocessed tears.

I leave an absolute mess. I’ve stopped looking people in the eye hours ago, back in the string cheese. Suddenly, my optimism and care for people has gone out the window, and behold, the worst version of Chelsea.

The thing is, I really don’t hate grocery shopping. Some grocery stores make me want to skip through the aisles singing happy Jillian Edwards-type songs.

This week, in the dreaded Walmart experience, I had a revelation: I don’t want to be a Walmart friend. I don’t want people to leave an interaction with me as the worst version of themselves. I want them to leave uplifted, encouraged, and challenged.

Part of my Lent this year is focusing on self-control of my tongue. After all, if we can control our speech, we can have self-control over everything (James 3:2). My goal is not just to not discourage, but to speak in a way that is uplifting and beneficial to those who listen.

((photo credit))

I know I cannot avoid shopping there, so from now on every time I go to a Walmart, it’s going to be a not-so-subtle reminder of how I treat others. And please, don’t be a Walmart friend.

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