I am the person counting change in the check out line.
I take too long getting in my car when you're waiting for my spot.
I'm the man standing on the escalator when you need to run.
I am slow when you need to go fast.
I put you on hold. I attend to the person behind you.
I am in the way when you need to pass
I am late, when you need me to be early.
I drive too slow,
I talk too long,
You wait on me when you already needed to be gone.
I am the person who holds you back; who takes your time when you have precious little of it.
Please be kind. Most of us have been guilty of most of these things at least once. We don't intend to; we don't set out to make life difficult for others, but we do. It happens.
It is part of being human: To be self absorbed; to not realize how our actions are affecting others. And even if we are trying to be aware, to be conscious of others, sometimes it can't be helped. We're hungry and we only have change, our car is hurt and we're going as fast as we can, we put you on hold to attend to the person in front of us, so that they aren't the person we don't attend to.
Those of us who experience this, who are on the other side, we have a choice.
We can be angry, we can fume and spit and scream and pound our steering wheel. We can roll our eyes and huff to ourselves behind you in line. We can make lists in our heads of all the things we'll say to you, of all the ways you're hurting us.
But if we do that this time is wasted. The person holding us up either doesn't mean to, doesn't know they are, or doesn't care. Our rage doesn't change that. It doesn't speed them up or move them or change them. It doesn't get us where we need to be any sooner.
Instead, we can be aware of ourselves. We can USE this moment. In the modern world we never have time anymore. We're always late; always rushing. If we're late, it is because we created a life that doesn't allow us to have enough time to begin with. So these moment that we're held back can either be given up, lost in a wash of anger and frustration, or they can be taken for ourselves. We can recognize the situation we're in and accept it for what it is. When we see the person take out their change purse, or their coupon book, we can be certain that we're going to have a couple of extra minutes in line. So we can take that moment for us rather than give it away to them.
We can breathe. We can relax. We can be mindful of our surroundings and take stock of ourselves. We can look deep inside ourselves and do a self examination. We can think and plan. We can meditate. We can strike up a conversation with the person behind us. If we're in traffic we can look at the sky, try to identify birds, trees, etc. The point isn't WHAT you do with this time, it is that whatever this thing is you do, let it be something that you CHOOSE to do. Don't let your time be stolen by reacting in anger. Keep it for yourself. You'll feel better when you finally arrive wherever you're going.