There’s a “funny” post going around Facebook, complaining about people who write checks to pay for groceries. Apparently check-writers are some kind of scourge on the social order because they (a) take a little bit longer to complete their transaction in the checkout lane, and/or (b) are hopelessly behind the times because they don’t pay electronically.
These complaints make me sad, for two reasons:
- The “check-writers” group includes my beloved parents, who are 88 and 92 years old. Check-writing is the form of financial transaction with which they are most comfortable.
- I hope that when I’m elderly, younger people are patient with me.
I just returned from attending a conference in another state, which meant navigating the labyrinth which is air travel. I always allow a full day for my travel each way, and assume there will be delays and logistical problems to solve along the way (because there always are – except on those rare occasions where I get lucky and everything goes smoothly).
An example? Well, there was the time I was flying from Columbus to San Diego, with a connecting flight in Minneapolis. In Ohio, it was raining, but Minnesota was experiencing some kind of white-out blizzard situation which meant the airport there could not receive incoming flights. Our flight was delayed four or five hours because of the snow in Minnesota, and there was nothing to be done about it. Fortunately, I had brought a good book to read, and some papers to grade.
But oh, you should have heard the complaining in that airport lounge. I won’t deny that the situation was inconvenient, but many travelers reacted with rage – at the gate agent, at the airline, at the population of Minnesota. The snowstorm wasn’t anyone’s fault, and there was nothing to be done about our situation. The only option was to find some way to spend the time productively.
I try to apply the same logic to shopping. I can’t control the “busyness” of the store, or who my checkout lane companions will be. But I can bring my patience and a spirit of goodwill toward my fellow humans, and wait my turn without complaint – about the cashier’s speed, the number of items in my neighbor’s cart, or that elderly lady writing the check. My complaining isn’t going to make anything happen faster.
Let’s resolve to be patient with one another today.
Today’s coffee mug (thanks to Kristen!)