Dispatches

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A lesson in positive thinking?


You know how, when you're working on a regular schedule like 9 to 5, you just go through your day out of habit? You do things mechanically and think things mechanically because it just takes too much energy to do anything else (for reasons I would rather not explore here) . Anyway, that's been me for the last little while. The routine finally sucked me in.

What makes this worse, is that I take a lot of transit every day - suburban buses, commuter trains, city buses, street cars, and subways. And yo, there are a lot of people on transit. And lately I find myself feeling more and more bitter and thinking more mean thoughts about the people I encounter, because they are not as polite or as considerate as I try to be or as I think they should be. And this bitter mean streak has become part of my routine.

Take the other day: I was with some family at a giant wrestling meet in a giant high school gym. It was pretty crowded and the spaces for walking from the door to your seat were narrow (notice the photo here, taken by me from atop the bleachers). A couple of times people got pushy, and I gave 'em a dirty look and pushed right back. I think giving the dirty look was crossing the line.

This morning, I decided that I need to find a way to expect politeness and consideration from people around me (and be polite and considerate myself, naturally) without really expecting it, because it's making me mean.

But I'm still allowed to be sick of public transit. I just have to keep using it and smile. That's my nugget of wisdom for today.

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