and with a click, we lost our patience

I love to take pictures and I recently purchased a Blackbird fly 35mm camera that takes film.  On the weekend I set out to take some pictures, and noticed I was way more focused on everything I shot.  More focused than when I use my digital camera because I had to be, because I wasn’t going to see the result of my picture till I got the film developed.  Now a days we’re use to instant gratification, we snap a picture and if we don’t like it we delete it and take another.  Images from a night of binge drinking or a fun day of snowboarding are on Facebook almost in real-time.  I’m not going to act like I’m above it, I’m as guilty as anyone.  I Facebook mobile upload everything from a new shoe purchase, to a batch of banana bread I cooked up.  What I did realize is that with the advancements of technology the general population is always in a constant rush or a hurry.  This translates into people being angry and frustrated for no other reason than their needs aren’t being met fast enough.

Example #1 – He F-Bombed a clinic

Swine flu, black plague… you name it, I swear this small walk-in clinic was treating it.  I was coughing up a membrane type substance so I decided it was time to get some medical help.  I arrived at what I perceived to be an early time, the place opened at 9am and I’m pretty sure it was already 15 people deep at 9:05.  Enter “Fuck This” guy, this rough-looking gentlemen walks through the door of the clinic (which happens to have 4 kids in the waiting room) sees the group of 15 sick people and drops a very audible. “Fuck This!” “Are you Fucking Shitting Me!” “Is Nobody Fucking Working?”  He proceeds to slam the door and mutter some more curse words under his breath as he leaves.  I’m sitting there thinking to myself… What exactly did that accomplish besides making yourself looking like a huge douche canoe?  He’s still sick and now he’s not inline to get help and he’s in a bad mood.  I’m not going to pretend like I know what’s going on in his world, maybe there was a series of unfortunate events that lead to the tirade.  I don’t know… What I do know is if he would’ve just made a decision to not snap and except the circumstances as they were, and realize it was out of his control… chances are he would’ve been less upset.

Example #2 – I want to eat… faster

I live in a great area, but it’s kind of bad in the sense that I’m sandwiched between a KFC and a McDonald’s and sometimes I just like to beast on a Big Mac.  So I walk into the McDonald’s one day and there’s a massive line up, the reasons for the line up are unbeknownst to me.  In the line I see a lady who is starting to losing her mind, “Ugh, They call it fast food?” was her first of many quips as she impatiently swayed back and forth.  She continued to make snide remarks, consulting fellow patrons as they waited and as I watched her… her cancerous disposition grew.  Other people, who were clearly not happy but not vocal, started making comments too.  It didn’t turn into an angry mob or anything, but still it was amazing to see how someone’s bad attitude influenced the people around them.  Lets be straight… the only reason you could justifiable be that upset at the speed of fast food service is if you were Jack Bauer and terrorist wanted a double big Mac with a vanilla shake in 5 minutes or they were going to blow up Manhattan.  Then and only then could you be that upset and fidgety, because as Jack would put it… “Millions of lives are at stake!!”  Needless to say after a 15 minute wait the lady finally got her food.  

I’m just like everyone else, I’ll miss a turn or screw up times and when I do that I usually make those confirming statements. “Shoot missed that turn” “Balderdash, I’m totally going to be late for my meeting” (Yes is say Balderdash)  I’m never pissed or extremely upset when I utter those words because I’ve learned that in life nothing ever goes as planed and we can only control our actions.  So whenever I’m in a situation like that I make an effort to not get upset and control my state of mind.  Anger doesn’t mean you’ll get to where you need to go faster, only thing it does is ensure when you get there… you’ll be in a foul mood.

Next time you’re in a situation and you feel angst I suggest you ask yourself… A) Is there anything I can do to remedy the situation?  B) As bad as this is, could it be worse?  After you answer those two questions, take a deep breath and try to smile.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can change your perception of a situation.

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