This I Believe

Alphonso - N. Charleston, South Carolina
Entered on December 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: gratitude

I believe in patience.

Last week, on my Thanksgiving break, I was rushing to get errands and shopping done, before work. Traffic was extremely heavy due to the holidays, so I assumed a back, country road would be faster. Initially, I was going fast, speeding perhaps, until I found myself behind a car going what seemed to be two miles per hour. I noticed them pointing out the side of their windows at what seemed to be nothing to me. Just as I decided to pass the car, it pulled off to the side of the road. I originally planned to just continue down the road, but “What if they broke down or perhaps they ran out of gas?” I thought to myself as I noticed that it was an elderly couple. “Ya’ll O.K?” I asked. The woman responded kindly, “Yes young man, we’re just relaxing, enjoying the scenery, everything’s fine, thank you very much for your concern though.” We said our goodbyes and I continued on my way in somewhat of a bad mood. I thought to myself insensitively, “It seems as if elderly people are always holding things up.” I couldn’t help but wonder, what’s so special that they had to drive so slowly, let alone pull over. As I continued my trip, I found myself noticing the beautiful landscape; it calmed me. Later down the road, I noticed that a car had passed me, I laughed to myself thinking of how I was now somewhat of a contradiction. Just then, everything was put in perspective. I thought of the past.

When I was young, I often wished that I was older; I also wished that I had more privileges and less stipulations. I am sure everyone remembers saying multiple times, “I can’t wait to be ‘growed’ up,” or perhaps “I can’t wait until I’m allowed to….” An older and wiser individual would typically respond by saying, “Don’t rush your childhood” or “Don’t try to be grown before your time” or my favorite, “One day you will wish you had those years back.” If were like me, you laughed to yourself and rolled your eyes. If you are like me, you also wish you could go back to those days.

It’s funny that as we grow, the irony grows. In preschool I wished that I could do away with an early bedtime, in high school I wished that they would bring back naptime. I also remember owning a fisher price lawnmower, when I could actually operate the real thing, it was a dreaded chore. It’s odd that we constantly long for change, but when the change comes, it’s often unwelcomed, and no the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I personally can recall specific times where life was simple and recall that during the very same time, I wanted to rush it along.

As I age, I seem to find that life passes me by that much faster. I used to laugh when my parents would speak of how time flies. It sometimes scares me that many people say that these (my college years) are the best years of my life, but I no longer worry, no longer do I complain about my situations. I sometimes miss the past, look forward to the future, but the key to happiness is to cherish the present. So when I begin to rush and stress myself out, I just think of the elderly couple that I encountered. Sometimes in life, we must take it slow, pull over, relax and enjoy the scenery. This I believe.