Today I was waiting at the doctor’s office with one of my employees.As I sat there, I observed some of the most rude and inconsiderate people on earth. Obviously when people are sitting in the doctor’s office, they are there because they are sick, not merely sitting, waiting as if they are in line for an amusement ride. People verbally complained about “the wait”, speaking loudly about people seated who were coughing.
“Good Lord, that woman sounds like she has the whooping cough. I better not catch it sitting here in this waiting room. I will sue this office if I catch something I didn’t come in here with”, said one of the annoyed people. The lady with the cough turned and apologized for her cough, as her face turned red with embarrassment.
A few minutes later, an elderly man came in, explaining to the receptionist how he had been feeling dizzy, and had some chest pain. She quickly ushered him in the back to be checked by a doctor.
” No they didn’t just take that old man before me. I been sitting here for over 45 minutes waiting to see a doctor. That old man walks in and they take him straight back. That is wrong. Maybe I will go up there and tell them I have chest pain too.” No one in the waiting room acknowledged her remarks, each person looking away from her avoiding interaction.
A few minutes later, a salesperson of some type walked in.She too was quickly ushered to the back.You can only imagine the rant this annoyed lady began. ” You mean to tell me that chick just walks in and she goes back there, just like that while we sit out here being exposed to who knows what kind of diseases….” At this point the lady with the cough, stepped outside, telling the receptionist to come get her when it was her turn. Today, in Virginia, the winds are kicking, the temperature holding in the 30’s. But yet, this lady felt the need to go outside to not be a bother to those around her. So, to be clear, this very sick lady is going to stand outside, in the freezing cold, to avoid being a burden to the constant complainer. Somehow I managed to hold my tongue.
What is wrong with people? Why are we as human beings all about ourselves and so uncaring for humanity? Do we not realize that all of humanity suffers the same? Are we that uncaring? Self absorbed? What I wanted to say to this lady today was simple.
“It’s not all about you. The elderly gentleman obviously needed medical attention. The others in line in front of you, they were there first. The sick lady with the severe cough, she has sat quietly, covering her cough the best she could. What if that cough is not a “catchable” disease that you can sue the clinic for catching, but rather lung cancer? Would you even care? ” Yet, I held my tongue.
I get it. I really do. We are a fast paced hurry up kind of generation. We have 5 minutes meals, 4 minute rice, 3 minute popcorn, 7 minute complete car washes, 17 minute laundry service and one hour photos. We are busy people with busy lives, busily being busy. Yet, our humanity slips quietly away, leaving us to become uncaring of others, disregarding their needs to satisfy our own. Boy have we evolved.
I guess it really is about the “you” in each of us, after all.
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ― Dalai Lama XIV