Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stop Getting Annoyed So Easily

Busy. Yep, people are all busy. Each day we all see people in a hurry who have important things to do and important places to be. We can all easily get caught up in our own stuff and totally lose sight everything else around us.

Today I went through security at the Austin airport at 5:30 AM. The line was surprisingly long for the early hour, and everyone was dutifully lined up to complete the travelers barefoot ritual.

The young couple in front of me were traveling with their four month old daughter. They were clearly not seasoned travelers, and the entire process of getting through the screening check point seemed to unravel before them. It is hard enough to know that your laptop must be alone in a gray bin (nothing else can ride through x-ray with the laptop!!!), but add all the baby strollers, diaper bags, bottles, and the rest into the mix....and these people brought the whole line to a complete halt.

I found it interesting how visibly annoyed some of my fellow travels were. The loud sighs and eye rolling were rapid. People were pissed that these people were having difficulites in getting the baby out of the stroller and putting all their parts into the screening machines. I felt bad for them, as they were in over their head, and were not experienced in airport proceedures.

I chose, instead of becoming annoyed, to smile at the young child who was about as cute as a baby can be as her parents unpacked and repacked her baby things. She had eyes as bright as the morning sun that was just peaking out over the horizon. This happy child was in no hurry, and was not concerned in the least about how quickly she would reach her departure gate.

The impatient traveler who sighed the loudest was on my flight. She arrived at the gate with 45 minutes until the plane departed. She sat with her arms crossed and fumed until boarding began. What was the rush?

I felt sorry for this woman who was so easily annoyed for no cause. But she is not alone. We all fall into the trap of feeling busy and overwhelmed. We forget that life is about more than our race to get on a plane or other trivial matter. Stress can engulf us and we forget to enjoy all that is good in our world.

Take a break today from your nutty life and just breath. Look around at the people you see on the street and smile at them. Admire the beauty that exists in the world. Share a positive thought with someone you encounter. Contribute to help someone in need. Rediscover joy.

Have A Great Day.



Liz said...

Good points Thom. You have a great attitude that we should all try to emulate.

But, as someone with less patience than you have, I sympathize with all the annoyed people in that line. I think that the couple with the child were inconsiderate to have not planned ahead and to have slowed things up for other travelers. It's common knowledge that airport security takes extra time since 9/11 and it's not hard to check on the TSA website for updates on new rules. Maybe the woman who was annoyed and yet got to the gate early was upset because she had missed an important call that she was trying to take before her flight due to the delays in the security line? And maybe the missed call caused her to lose a sale or a new client. Who knows what tangential problems the couple with the child might have caused for others in line by not planning ahead?

I agree that patience is a virtue but why do those of us who plan ahead have to be understanding of those who can't be bothered to try to be considerate of others? I think it's each of our responsibilities (and just plain old fashioned good manners) to pay attention to the world around us and to try to stay with the program so we don't cause problems for other people.

Gary Davis said...

Down here in the south, it isnt just a good idea, it is protocol. We typically let things go that make others uptight. "Everything gone be alright" is one of our favorite expressions.

Anne Marie said...

Thanks so much for this reminder, Thom, and so eloquently said, too. I actually had a similar experience yesterday, when I was in a very crowded grocery store trying to pick up a few last-minute items for a Thanksgiving dish. Everywhere around me I heard grumbling and sighs as the traffic forced carts to stall in aisles. It was not pleasant. And then I remembered why I was there--Thanksgiving--and I was determined to make eye contact with strangers, to laugh at the traffic jams no matter who laughed with me. As soon as I did that, I found so many other people ready to do that, too. I actually had a good laugh with a complete stranger as we reached for the very same bag of pecans. That lovely woman may or may not be a client of mine someday, but even if not, I am thankful for people like her anyway.