Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Patience


A few days ago, I was riding to work on the bus.  I work in the afternoons so the bus I take is often overcrowded with people going to their various destinations… especially high school kids coming home from school.  Now I realize that a crowded bus is not fun for most people.  But I also don’t think it gives anyone the excuse to become rude and impatient.  I was lucky enough that day to have a seat (usually when I get on the bus is almost empty.)  There was a man sitting not too far away from me who was getting more and more impatient as the bus got further on down its route.  I don’t know his situation-maybe he was late for an appointment, maybe he was having a horrible day already.  I’ll never know.

Anyway, the bus stopped at a bus stop and an elderly woman with a small metal cart and a woman in a wheelchair came onto the bus.  Naturally, a few people had to move off the handicap row so that the wheelchair could occupy that space.  The man rolled his eyes and sighed impatiently while tapping his foot rapidly.  He even started muttering under his breath something about how the bus stops too often.  The elderly woman tried to get past the man but her cart got stuck.  She couldn’t get it unstuck.  The man sighed and yanked the shopping cart off the ground and chucked it to the back.  Yes it was nice of him to help… but you could tell he wasn’t doing it to be nice.  I could sense the anger in his facial expression and it made me sad.  It’s not the woman in the wheelchair’s fault she can’t walk.  It’s not the elderly woman’s fault that she’s old.  Old age happens to everyone.

Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near perfect.  Patience is not my strong suit.  Becoming a military wife has definitely taught me that.  I yell at the driver in front of me who cut me off or slammed on their brakes.  I get impatient when something isn’t happening as fast as I think it should.  But I am genuinely trying to be more patient and give other people the benefit of the doubt.  I am trying to be kind and look for the good in people.  This experience on the bus has made me realize even more that impatience never helps anyone- it doesn’t help you get to your destination faster, or it doesn’t help things get done faster.  It just annoys and sometimes even hurts some people.  It’s so much better to be patient.  I’m making a resolve to be even more patient from now on.

1 comment:

navywifechronicles said...

Loved this post. I recently started a gratitude journal (you know, 5 things you're grateful for everyday; I know, I'm a bit behind with the Oprah trends) and I've noticed that I'm taking more time during the day to reflect on my own thoughts and behavior, even times when my patience is hanging by a thread. You can't tell people to take a chill pill but you can take time for their "victim". When that's not possible, a genuine smile never hurts :)