Carless -Day Twenty Nine -Patience

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The myth of modern times insists that we’re all rushed. We have no time. We’re in a hurry to get there, anxious to leave, and pushy returning. We’re constantly behind schedule, running late; always, always, always running.

Because this feels like a competition, we speed compulsively as if we’ll lose something if we don’t. We’re so focused upon the future we zoom right past the present, showing up late for our own funerals.

Subtract one car from this calculus and a startlingly different world emerges. One where hustle doesn’t count for much. One where simple acceptance of the way things are buys much more than cut-throat competition ever could. Where cooperation creates possibilities and patience rules.

Traffic seems irrelevant here. The sidewalks and busses are rarely full. No one waiting for a bus menacingly revs their engine. The ride comes when it comes, regardless of its advertised arrival time. And it leaves when the driver says so. No one stands behind exhorting him to hurry it up.

We’ve become more patient. I pack a book or the latest New Yorker, which I find time to finish most weeks. We synch our expectations with schedules entirely out of our control, and plan our moves accordingly.

We had a five o’clock appointment today. At two, I checked schedules to find that I’d need to catch the three twenty nine bus and change busses half-way there to arrive on time. Neither bus would take the most direct route; both meandered, stopping frequently. And it didn’t matter if I was a little late, I’d not be running late.

I arrived early and spent the excess time walking the neighborhood, patient because the situation required patience, and impatience couldn’t buy me much. Five o’clock would catch up to me, no need to chase my tail or hustle anyone else’s butt. Nobody between me and a timely arrival except me and my ability to patiently integrate with the world as it is.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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