Rebuilding Series: A Reason To Be Patient. By Marshall Lestz
Good Morning Everybody,
The other day I was sitting in the carpool line behind a car with a familiar sign hanging on the rear window. It said: PLEASE BE PATIENT, STUDENT DRIVER.
It got me thinking… If this sign does indeed help other drivers be more patient…WHY? Why’s it work? How’s it change the way we feel about someone’s driving?
Well, we might hypothesize that it’s because the sign gives us a reason for why the car in front of us is driving on the curb, or straddling two lanes, or braking a half mile before it gets to the red light. We don’t like it, but that little sign softens the blow. It gives us an EXPLANATION for why in the world that car is driving so crazy. “Ooooh, it’s a student driver. Okay, now I get it.” But without an explanation, without a “why?,” most of us are gonna be less patient. Bottom line, when we understand where the other person’s coming from, it goes a long way to help us remain calm.
Now think how beneficial this concept can be if we apply it to different areas of our lives! Every person has his or her “STUFF.” We all do things that baffle other people. Could be a bothersome habit, unrefined trait, an insecurity… It’s normal to have a few rough edges that rub people the wrong way. And the thing is, there’s a REASON for all those behaviors. They might’ve been picked up in childhood, or inherited, or caused by a difficult experience… a million different reasons. But for our purposes, it just doesn’t matter. All that matters is that there’s a reason. And as we said before with the student driver, when we know that there’s a reason for why someone is behaving a certain way, it REALLY helps us deal with it better.
So wouldn’t it help us stay calmer if we remembered that there’s a hidden reason for other people’s behavior that bugs us? What if we imagined people wearing little signs with messages like, “Please be patient, I was teased a lot when I was a kid so I tend to be overly sensitive.” Or, “Please be patient, I’m self-conscious when talking to new people.” Or, “Please don’t get angry, I’m not really qualified for this job but I had to take it so I could pay rent.”
For our sake, and the sake of everyone we tend to grow frustrated with, let’s remember that there are reasons for the way they act. And if we knew those reasons, it might completely change how we see them and interact with them. The more empathy we can feel, the less hostility we’ll feel. And just imagine what an incredible impact that could have on our lives, and all our relationships.
Have a peaceful and patient day everybody,
Keep on Building!