This I Believe

Mark - Prairie Village, Kansas
Entered on October 10, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Patience is a virtue. In today’s world, a world where cool tempers are about as common as a hill in Kansas, this proverb holds added meaning. Ticking time bombs roam the streets looking for anybody to blow up on. Navigation of these minefields must be met with perfection of every step, gesture and voice inflection.

The topic at hand is an ironic one. It appears I have run out of patience with the impatient. I understand that sometimes people lose their cool. I understand that constant patience is impossible. I understand that some very important things would not have changed if everybody was walking around with a complacent attitude. However, the rate at which people blow up is too great and the reasons are too trivial. I believe the world would be a better place if people stopped becoming incensed over the minute details that have no impact on life.

This problem is prevalent in today’s world; I have seen numerous instances of undeserved tongue lashings. One personal experience occurred at a local grocery store. After making my purchase I exited the store to my car. I had pulled through my spot to avoid the terrors of reversing in a parking lot infamous for poor drivers and where my car had been hit once before while I was in the store. I was parked next to a man who used a more conventional parking method that required a reverse, leaving our driver sides doors facing each other. Unfortunately for me, both the driver of the adjacent car and I arrived at the car simultaneously. I, oblivious as a turtle to the world outside its shell, did not notice the man. As we tried to get into our cars at the same time our bodies momentarily collided with an impact so low it was nearly immeasurable. This little bump was apparently the equivalent of burning a fire in a fireplace with a smoke detector in the chimney, it set the man off. I apologized and said excuse me, but to my astonishment the man was yelling. I apologized again but the screams did not cease. My apologies were like giving the tiger more claws. Fortunately, the lot was fairly vacant or I would have been embarrassed and he would have been dubbed a jerk.

I understand that sometimes we make egregious mistakes, and sometimes must be verbally punished for them. I do not see this as one of those instances. Was it really necessary for this “gentleman” to yell at me? He certainly did not accomplish anything monumental. I did not learn a lesson. Perhaps I should be more aware of my surroundings, but this was just a momentary lapse. What was accomplished was a feeling of embarrassment by me and a descent to jerk-status by him. Was it really worth the time, energy, and emotion? Next time, just take a chill pill.