One man’s lack of patience, his snap reaction and probably a total absence of commonsense and inner peace cost him 80 bucks, give or take.
In real-time it only took about three minutes to unfold, but as I idled at a stop light outside Walgreen’s the other day, I watched a man, with numerous people around him, attempt to break in to a locked car with keys inside, before becoming frustrated and smashing the window with a hammer.
The first thing that crossed my mind was a chuckle and choice word not quite as family friendly as “dummy.” The second thing was, it must have been cheaper to call in a locksmith than to replace the entire broken window.
The third and most important thought was the understanding that his reaction used to be my reaction 100 percent of the time, and that’s no way to live. “Patience is a virtue” has been a common proverb, reportedly originating in the 1300s and taking many forms since, for a reason — truer words were never spoken.
I did a little checking the other morning to confirm my suspicions, and on average its costs about $160 to buy and install a driver’s-side window on a late-model sedan. By comparison, an after-hours call during a weekday in El Centro to a locksmith costs around $80. Hence, dude’s ’tude cost him $80 more.
What you can glean from that equation is that patience, the ability to think through something and not explode in a red-faced rage is not only more cost-effective, but probably a lot better for those around you in terms of psychic energy output and, perhaps most important of all, how you feel inside, not from the touchy-feely standpoint, but from the ulcerative, cortisol-inducing stress that impatience breeds in your body chemistry.
And, OK, the fact that a flash of anger, the idea that your will and wants come before anything else, that you can control forces out of your control — which is what this was an example of — just makes you feel funky.
I spent a lot of time feeling funky, and frankly, beyond James-Brown-Sly-and-the-Family-Stone funky, I don’t like it or want it. Get the funk out.
I imagine that holds true for many people. In reality, I don’t think it’s unfair to assume that many happy functioning children and adults know how to be patient, as those are just basic things we are supposed to learn as productive, well-adjusted citizens of the world.
That said, not all of us are well-adjusted, and the result can be seen and heard every time someone leans on their horn in traffic, flips the bird, passes on the right at an aggressive speed or scowls at you for lollygagging in the grocery aisle or lookie-looing on a Sunday stroll.
It’s been a hard road toward learning patience, and when I get it right — which isn’t often — the rewards are usually known only to me. That, I believe, is the way it is supposed to be, because the inward peace does end up radiating to those around you. People stop walking on eggshells, stop biting their tongues or second-guessing whether they should even approach you.
I am well-versed in this delicate dance, being the one people tip-toe around more often than not. It goes without saying I still cause that drama, still fray the nerves of people around me, way more than I’d like to admit, and with some more than others.
But whereas that was the modus operandi at all times, at all costs; not so much today. It’s incremental improvement that we aspire to as human beings, because I believe those are the strides that take. Not drastic, sudden dramatic changes that can return as quickly as they seemingly disappeared.
Change is a psychic, holistic process that requires patience. That’s right, that’s the fortune cookie moment: Be patient; achieving patience takes time. Or something like that.
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