I once took a group of High School students to Washington, D.C. for a student vocational group national competitive conference (the Technology Student Association). One of the off-conference things we did was to visit the Holocaust Museum there. We had previously seen the Mall, and the Smithsonian, so I was fed up with all the other people (doing what we were doing) who were in my way.
As we passed through the Museum commemorating the unthinkable numbers of people who were slaughtered, represented by heart-breakingly pathetic, sad little piles of personal items: discarded, confiscated eyeglasses, or toothbrushes, and shoes; some new, some very worn, some large and some appallingly tiny……the idea was implanted very irrevocably that these humans were killed just because they were in somebody’s way -a somebody who had, at that time, the power to remove them, and no conscience to prevent him from doing it.
It has been many years since that eye-opening, mind- and attitude-altering tour. Powerful impressions do fade over time, and I was just recently contemplating how that “people are in my WAY, dammit” viewpoint creeps back. I see it every day while I and everybody else is driving….Panamanians, Moroccans, Romans, Dominican Rebublicanos, and Americans (heck, let’s just indict EVERYbody) clearly demonstrate that road rage mindset on the road: others, regardless that they are engaged in their own personal life business, which may or may not be as pressing or as important as MY personal life business, are obstacles in my path towards accomplishing my goal. It’s Hitler on the road….isn’t it?
And what about those people (who are employed by the government, usually) who are doing their jobs, obeying the incompetent idiots who are their supervisors, who are causing me inordinate amounts of stress, aggravation, and general-pissed-off-ness when I am trying to get something done because they are doing their tiny little mind job like they were told to do it? OBSTACLES IN MY WAY. meh.
I’m not saying I like this personal revelation about myself and my attitude towards others, mind you, but like AA, recognizing the problem is the first step in solving it – assuming I want to actually work on solving it – which is another issue altogether.