Take a Deep Breath
A lady boarding the bus in front of you shows the bus driver a map and asks “Can you tell me if you are going to this place please?”
He thinks about it and kindly gives a full answer.
“OK, then can we have two tickets please? Can I pay with a credit card?”
The driver says yes but the card doesn’t work.
“Sorry, let’s try this other one” as she fumbles in her purse.
This time it works.
“Can you tell us when to get off?”
“Sure” says the driver, smiling.
You are waiting behind these irritating people. The bus is now late, which means you will miss the start of your meeting.
How do you feel? Angry? Agitated? What if this happens on the next bus? It’s enough to make you walk straight to a taxi rank, regardless of the additional expense.
Surely the passenger in front of you was simply asking for help in a strange place? Surely the bus driver was being a decent person and caring more about addressing this passenger’s needs than worrying about being a few minutes late?
But what about you? You’re important too and you’ve got serious business to attend to. Don’t they realise your schedule is tight?
The day when common decency flies out of the window because people are so stressed through jamming too much into their day, is a sad day indeed.
Giving people our time to explain things is a wonderful gesture which used to be the norm and still is in many parts of the world.
However it is neither normal nor healthy to get so wound up because we put pressure on ourselves to race to the next activity, being consumed by an unrealistic schedule that allows no margin for any ‘errors’ or unforeseen issues.
Who are we kidding? Are we really that important? I don’t think so.
But what is important is our health and remembering to give time to people and perhaps be honest in our evaluation of how useful those meetings truly are and indeed, if we can cut them shorter.
Let’s face it, we know in our hearts that most meetings go on too long with much pontificating and ego preening.
Being important isn’t nearly as vital as we think it is, but breathing easily without pressure is.
So next time a seemingly irritating person is in front of you, try relaxing your shoulders, taking a breath and being grateful that you’ve given yourself space and time not to worry.