Reflection & Action: It was a poor day to renew my driver’s license. At the insurance office, problems with the phone lines made credit and debit card transactions impossible. Customers dug for cheques and scrounged spare cash, or dashed down the block to the cash machine.
The cashiers did their best, but progress was slow. A fellow who arrived just moments after I entered the queue did not appreciate the delay. Like a bull in the paddock, he shifted from foot to foot, snorting and pawing the ground. Jingling the change in his pocket and rustling the papers in his hand did nothing to calm his jangling nerves. Neither did repeated checks of his wristwatch. Even the disgusted glares he zinged at the cashiers brought him no relief.
Just a couple of minutes after his arrival, a newcomer fell in line behind the restless rustler. In the loudest possible voice, the raging bull cautioned the woman that he hoped she’d brought a book and planned to spend the day, because he’d been waiting in line all morning!!!
In less than five minutes, it was my turn at the counter. I leaned in close to the cashier and told her I hoped she had 911 on her speed dial, as I thought our friend, the raging bull, was about to pop an artery. She chuckled and rolled her eyes, clearly relieved to find an understanding customer with a sense of humor.
Life is full of delays and detours. We ought not to be surprised when we hit a speed bump. When life does not unfold as expected, forget snorting and pawing the ground. Look for the humor. Empathize with others caught in the bind. There are always other responses beyond the first frustrated reaction.
Quotes Of The Week: “The greatest power is often simple patience.” – E. Joseph Cossman
“Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” – Michael McGriffy
Resource Of The Week: If you’re enjoying this summer’s weekly Pause Gems, you’ll find all of them and more compiled in the first collection of Pause messages, Press Pause…Press On: Bringing Balance & Perspective To Work & Life. For details and orders, see this link to the Pause Shop.
Readers Write: Debby C. writes: Our own expectations are fueling the spiral that we are all in. Change will come about when each of us makes the conscious one-at-a-time decisions that relax our expectations of everyone around us. We must realize that, every time we expect instant service, response, food, entertainment we are validating all of the instant demands made on us.
The golden rule really defines what will save us from ourselves. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Just think what would happen if the irate customers in line at the bank, food outlet, or post office would take a second to think about how they’d feel if they were the ones serving that line of impatient, rude, irate customers. Maybe they’d cut some slack for the poor sots who are likely trying their best to make everyone happy.
Editor’s Footnote: Since it received such a positive response last year, once again during the months of July and August, your weekly Pause will feature nine messages from the ‘Best Of Pause’. These are readers’ favorite messages from the earliest years of the Pause e-zine.
Featuring these Pause Gems will give me a bit of a breather to regroup, research, and develop some great new material. It will also introduce our more recent subscribers to some of those early ideas.
Whether you are a long time subscriber, or new to the list, I sincerely hope you enjoy these gems. Have a wonderful summer. I’ll be back again in September with your regular Pause format featuring all new info and resources.