Monday, September 7, 2015

Being Human

The Mystery within...
Sometimes it’s not pleasant being human.  My gremlin within reared its ugly head this past week and made me feel really crummy.  I was making a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things and standing in the less than 20 items checkout lane.  The woman in front of me had only two items but there was a very elderly couple in front of her who had several bags of groceries, and now with pains taking slowness, the wife was handing over a handful of coupons one by one.  My demon within mumbled quietly, “What the hell.”  The woman in front of me with the two items turned and looked at me so I said, “This is a limited items checkout lane.”  To which she replied, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that.” 

Instantly I regretted my words and my impatience embarrassed me.  Less than two months ago I was in that same checkout lane with a cart full of groceries because I didn’t notice the 20 items limit.  When I offered to move to another lane two women behind me said, “No, you can stay.  We don’t mind.”  Standing there having those groceries rung up, I remembered yet another check out experience when a very elderly woman was painfully slow with her purchases and payment.  After she left the man behind me said empathically, “We’re all going to be there someday.” 

Now, adding to my embarrassment was the elderly and weary looking checker who had also overheard my mumble.  She forced pleasantness as she checked me out but I suspect she wondered if I had any empathy at all.  Hopefully my dark feelings can become a sacrament of shame and will give me pause the next time I feel impatient.   

What if we could all use personal embarrassment to tame our  gremlin within?

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