Excuse Me, But I’m in a Hurry…
I had one of those experiences yesterday that made me pause for a little “food for thought.” My husband was dropping me off in front of the building at the university where I work the “real job that pays the bills.” He typically stops our vehicle in front of the sidewalk which divides two sides of parking spaces, but yesterday there was a truck blocking the usual stop. So he pulled over a few feet before the sidewalk, which just happened to be in front of a couple of parked cars. We were only to be there for about 2 minutes. As I got out of the van, I bent down to pick up my bag from the floor of the van and all of a sudden heard this irritated voice say, “Excuse me, but I’m in a hurry.” It was a gentleman sitting in one of the parked cars. We did not see him when we pulled up. And, he did not say this politely, he was actually quite rude about it and it took me by surprise. I mumbled something like, “Okay, sure, just a second,” and then he proceeded to shoot me a very digusted look. My husband promptly moved our vehicle and the guy hurriedly backed out of the parking space and sped off. My husband later told me that he followed this person for a few blocks and he didn’t get very far ahead in the traffic. To be fair, I don’t know where he was rushing off to–perhaps he got an emergency call about a loved one (I’ve been there many times, but even at the worst time when my father was in a hospice last year before he died, and I got the call to “come right away”, I never used it as an excuse to be rude to others). I’ve been in situations where I need to get somewhere but I have always tried to treat others with respect even in those instances.
At any rate, this incident made me think of our “I want it now” society. We’re always in a rush–whether it is sitting in traffic at the red light with our foot ready for the accelerator, waiting impatiently while trying to get through the express lane at the grocery store, or pushing ahead to be the first one off the airplane. Perhaps we even apply this “in a rush” mentality when searching for our ancestors. Because of the wealth of online databases that give us data with a click of the mouse, we tend to want results right away, and when we can’t find what we are looking for in 10 minutes or less, we get impatient. We also get frustrated if the resource we want is not online and we have to write away for the record, search microfilm, or spend hours in a library or courthouse. I am as guilty as the next genealogist when it comes to being in a rush to get results. But, my recent encounter with the unidentified “man in a hurry” has given me reason to pause.
I plan to slow down a bit–both during my daily activities and my genealogical research. Remember the lesson of Aesop’s fable, The Tortoise and The Hare: “After that, Hare always reminded himself, “Don’t brag about your lightning pace, for Slow and Steady won the race!” “