Forty Years

As I approach my Fortieth year on this planet I have noticed changes. When I was turning 30, I wrote a long email to friends and still have some of those friends now, but others have drifted away as people do. Back then I wrote of trucks, tattoos and Pitbulls.

As I have aged I noticed that the outside has changed, but the inside is also changing as I progress through life adding years like some people and possessions. The outside has changed. I am a little rounder than I used to be. I am nicknamed Smilin-Buddha on some of the other forums I frequent. I have a little less of my head to shave each week. And my beard has slowly been dabbled with gray. My wife claims those were put there by her. I think its experience. I can’t name the reason each one was put there. I realize that each one is a year and a chance to be a better person. The most change has come to the inside. I have mellowed in years. I am no longer the person I was. With each year I have come to the realization I can’t change a persons reaction to me, but just the way I deal with that person. I am not perfect, but I do notice a stark contrast to the way I used to be and perceive the way others treat me and my reaction to their missteps.

This became very clear yesterday when dealing with an angry young woman. I work for a Library system. My main area of customer contact is in regards to computer and printing issues. I noticed she was having trouble printing. I was assisting another customer. So I asked a co-worker to head over and aid her. I never realized what would transpire. She started to curse at him and tell him she had it figured out. She was mistaken and in her haste got several blank sheets of paper.

She continued to berate my friend and asked to speak to a manager. Another co-worker went out to assist her and was also treated to her wrath. What follows kind of was on fast forward. Racial slurs from her directed to my Haitian friend,  something along the line calling him a boat person. The other employee that tried to assist her has a hearing aid so she was talking very quietly insulting him with her words. We called a supervisor.

He came out and gave her the world. She got her free prints and was not admonished for her words. Towards the end when she had gotten what she wanted I asked her to watch her language because of the kids present. Her statement to me was get my money Mother F***** and make it fast B*****.

Ah now I had been brought into her stream of life. I looked at her smiled and wished her a better day. As I walked away I wished peace in her life. And peace in mine. I figured she must be hurting in some way to unleash such a  tirade. And how much did she lose, 40 cents. Life must be bad for her if that amount can cause that kind of turmoil. The rest of the guys carried her burden for several hours. I had let it pass.

So I guess I have changed. In the past I would have jumped into her pool with both feet. And would carried her burden with my own. But now I just let it pass. Perfection is not something I strive for even at my current age. I just hope to be a little better today than I was yesterday.

One Comment

  1. Oh does this post ever resonate with me. It’s amazing when I’m able to see how bent out of shape folks can get over the smallest things and then I think back to how I used to get so frustrated or angry under similar circumstances.

    It’s refreshing to see when we’ve been able to transform those circumstances that used to get under our skin into things that are of little consequence.


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