Saturday, January 15, 2011

Think About Slowing Down

I debated with myself about what to call this post. There are so many ideas and thoughts in my head, and I've been so busy this week that I haven't been able to get them down in blog form--and, in my mind, I kept trying to figure out how to get them all out in one post.

But, wait. Why the rush?

At one point, I wanted to call this "Think About Rudeness," but that sounded too negative. So, I thought, what about "...Manners"? My brain went off on a long tangent on that one--when you work retail, you tend to wonder sometimes why other people weren't brought up as well as you were (thanks, Mom!). But, I forget my manners at times. I'm rude at times. I don't always do it purposely; there are so many factors that can affect a moment. But, without a doubt, one of these factors is rushing. When we're in a hurry, we tend to do disrespectful things (flip off another driver, cut in line, cut someone off in mid-sentence, etc.) that we wouldn't ordinarily mean to do.

So, really...what's the rush?

About fifteen years ago I wrote a poem about a scene I witnessed while I was working as a cashier in a grocery store. I will save you from my early poetic efforts and just summarize the poem here. It was about the impatience of customers in line. A retired man was testy because two people were ahead of him in line. A mother and a young child were right behind him. The child was moseying behind his mother, looking at either the toy train running on a track hanging from the ceiling or a curious spot on the floor, I'm not sure which--maybe both. In any case, the child was enjoying his time in line, taking in the sights and sounds around him. When the grumpy man was through the line and the woman stepped up, her boy tried to show her something. The woman dismissed him with a nod, quickly made her purchase, and headed for the door. "Hurry, hurry!" she said to her son, without noting his enjoyment of his surroundings, his enjoyment of the moment, of life. Obediently, he ran up to her, and, as they walked out the door, he repeated (without irony), "Hurry, hurry!"

I know there are times when we're all in legitimate rushes, but sometimes things just don't move any faster. When there's nothing you can do about it, why not stop? Stop. Think. Observe. Relax. Take the time to write a blog entry!

Slow down.

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