When was the last time you asked someone how they were doing, and kept listening long enough to hear the answer? Not sure? Not surprising.
Life moves pretty fast sometimes. Only you, however, have the ability to slow it down. Don’t worry I am not advocating a huge lifestyle change, just a reality check.
We live amongst an incredibly diverse group of people, all of whom have different life experiences and expectations. While you may floor it through an intersection when the light turns green, the driver in front of you may not. It doesn’t mean that where you are going is any more important than where they are headed, but maybe that your life experience regarding driving is vastly different. Perhaps they were in an accident at this particular intersection, or were lectured by t heir parents about waiting a few extra seconds because of potential red-light runners. Tolerance is key; it will also save you a fender-bender.
Air travel is championed as convenient, but who hasn’t been inconvenienced by the old couple or mother with a child in front of them in the security screening line? I know I have. You check your watch, your cell phone, the giant clock hanging over the security center, to see how long this is really taking them. Whether you are two hours from take-off or twenty minutes, the annoyance level is the same. Instead of rolling your eyes, sighing loudly, or discussing the situation at an unusually high decibel with the equally annoyed passenger to your left, exercise tolerance. If you are lucky, someday you too will be part of the old couple holding up the line, or the parent trying to remove their ornery child’s shoes.
Tolerance is also in need of liberal application in social situations. Reasonable minds can differ…and unreasonable minds can differ even more. While it is never fun to have your beliefs, convictions, or self criticized, it is going to happen. While it may seem easiest to be rude, snide, or obnoxious in response, you are only perpetuating this person’s unreasonable view of you. Recognize that you are hurt by what has been said or done, but that it is not going to be what defines you. By being the “bigger person” you remind those around you of why you are so great. If the other person doesn’t pick up on this, it is their loss…both literally and when it comes to Karma points.
I am working on being a high road regular. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it. Give it a try…the worst thing that could happen is that you might actually improve someone’s day.