the other day i had to go through a toll booth.  the car in front of me was taking a while to complete the $ 0.75 exchange.  when i pulled up, the man working apologized for the hold up in such a sincere, apologetic tone that it really struck me.  i smiled and told him that it wasn’t a problem, paid my toll, and drove away.  i could understand where the anxious apology came from, because people can be outrageously impatient, demanding, and selfish.  he had no way of knowing whether or not i was going to scream at him about the delay.  so i started thinking about the people who would have that reaction – the kind of reaction i would have experienced internally if i was in a hurry to get somewhere – and what fuels it.  the more advanced our world becomes, access to everything at the tips of our fingers without hesitation, the more the sense in which all these things relate to us changes.  we view everything as a right, and nothing as a privilege.  just as parents tell their children that television time is a privilege, not a right, so we need to be scolded into a realistic evaluation of what is due to us, and what has been graciously supplied.  certainly i have the right to travel, and my tax dollars contribute to the construction of roads, but i did not build this highway, it was not built with the sole purpose of making my solitary life more convenient.  that is what it is – a convenience, and, in my opinion, entitlement is contradictory to the definition of convenience.  sometimes i wish we would all slow down and look at the entire scheme of things, letting go of our selfish hold on the insignificant pieces of life.  however, i only get that feeling when i can “afford” to.

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