Sunday, July 15, 2007

Patience Is A Virtue

WordWeb defined patience as the "good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence." Yesterday, my whole family's patience was put to the test. Surprisingly, our kids were more patient compared to me and my husband.

Here's what happened. We decided to buy food from a drive-thru restaurant. We could not get in immediately because of a slow walking pedestrian and a van hurriedly got in front of us. Ok, so he got to order first. That's fine with us. What we noticed was, even though we could not hear what was being said, he was either ordering a lot of food or making complicated instructions about his order. It was taking him forever to finish and pay up.

We were still pretty patient up to this point. Things like this happen and the restaurant crew was cheerful when it was our turn. Our kids were very patient too. They did not make any complaints or whine about the delay and my 6 year old even said hello and thank you to the crew. It took us less than 2 minutes to order and pay up.

My husband drove the car to the next window to pick up our food and the van was waiting there as expected. We saw the restaurant crew motion the driver to move forward to a waiting slot so others can move on. I guess their order was not yet complete. We got our food shortly but could not get out. The van was parked in front of us in such a way that its rear was at an angle, it would seem impossible to pass.

There we were ready to leave but we couldn't. My husband honked at the van to let it know we can't pass and patiently waited for the driver to move even just a little. The van did not budge at all. We assessed our situation. There was about 4 inches of clearance for either side of our car if we decide to go ahead and pass. If my husband makes a mistake, we either scrape the van or a concrete wall.

As much as possible, we don't want to take the risk because we have 2 small kids in the car. We were forced to sit there, waiting again. This time, we don't know for how long. The car behind us got their food and was ready to leave too. My husband was getting impatient. I have to admit, I was also getting restless. So my husband asked me to check once more how much space there was on the right side of the car, while he checked on the left side. There was about 4 inches. It was very tight.

We moved very, very slowly, watching the wall and the van close in on us. It was a bit scary but the kids were cheering their daddy on. Finally we were free. It was a relief.

What happened to us is a plain example of discourtesy and selfishness. The van driver could have moved just a couple of feet and it would have made a big difference. But he was protecting his space without thought for others behind him. Maybe he was thinking we can pass without problem if we wanted to. Well, we did, but it was an unnecessary risk that was forced on us. We felt he was very selfish and unreasonable.

My husband and I did not lose our tempers but impatience got the better of us. Although they were eager to get home and eat their food, I'm thankful our kids remained patient throughout the whole thing.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Patience is a virtue for everyone.
Have a nice day!