Stand back and take time to enjoy the 'now'
Published 20/02/2016 | 00:00
I was standing at the checkout at a Lidl store some weeks ago.
A young man standing in front of me realised he had forgotten something so he left the queue and went off to get his forgotten grocery.
It came to his turn to pay but no sign of him and then just as I was about to head to the till to pay for my goods my man returned. He paid for his goods and headed off. Not a word from him. No apology, no thank you, nothing. I couldn't resist it, so I did point out to him that at least he could have said sorry for the delay it caused me. We had a few words before he headed off.
On another occasion I stood at the grocery checkout as a woman spent, what seemed to me to be an age, to fumble in her purse for her money and then produced a handful of coins, spending another age to count them. Again I found myself getting annoyed, being impatient. How long was I delayed on both occasions? I imagine less than a minute on each occasion. How many minutes have I wasted in my life?
I'm recalling the two incidents because last week a friend called to my house and expressed her frustration at how impatient we are all becoming. Naturally, I told her of my two occasions of crass impatience and our conversation certainly set me thinking. It seems we have no time for anything and where at all are we going with all our rushing?
My mind went back almost 40 years when I heard a wise man comment on skips. At the time they were in their infancy and the wise man said that the skip was a real sign of the developing throw-away society. How accurate he was. We throw away so much and for all sorts of reasons but it seems one of the reasons is that we are too lazy or do not have the time to fix it. How easy it is to get into the rhythm of that mentality.
Up to a few years ago I would not have dreamed of leaving my bicycle into a bicycle shop to have a puncture repaired. These days I could not be bothered fixing it myself. And the bike shop simply fits a new tube and throws away the old one.
The money-people will tell us it is simply not worth fixing things. It's cheaper and more efficient to replace them. Certainly that's what the man in the bicycle shop has said to me on many occasions. When I first started to get it fixed I politely asked to keep the old tube. But I never patched it, never used it again.
What happens when the Chinese workers start looking for the same pay as their western counterparts? Maybe I should be keeping those old tubes.
All the time running through our veins is that desire that whatever we want we have to have it now. We flit from one gadget to the next, all the time wanting to have the best and the newest. It's an insatiable desire. That urge is relentless. Is it that we have simply been duped by the world of advertising?
When last did you take time out to look at that robin outside your back door? I'm inclined to think we are wasting far too much time chasing rainbows. Isn't it a lovely Irish expression tóg go bog é (take it easy). And why not? Stand back, observe people and things, Enjoy the now.