Tolerance for inconveniences

An intermittent internet connection makes the morning miserable… Called Airtel and the long honey-voiced IVR starts the drive up the wall and you hit the ceiling as soon as you find a human being at the other end who has a script and doesn’t want to listen !!

The Sun came up and it became warmer, so I couldn’t jog long enough, my face sets into a frown and am snappy.

The air conditioning in the office is not at the temperature that we like and there are frantic calls to get it fixed right away and everyone is complaining of being frozen in the cold or melting in the heat.

The car window doesn’t wind down and I don’t want to drive that car !! A guy parks his car in front of yours and takes 5 seconds longer to remove it … And you reach for the choicest of swear words 🙂

All inconveniences and how intolerant we have become !! We conveniently forget that there was no internet a few years back, you walked in the blazing Sun to meet a friend, Dad never had any air conditioning in his office and you had none at home or school not so long ago, the car was a luxury… All of a sudden all these things can change the behaviour of your facial muscles and your heart rate !!

I read this story in a Readers Digest long back – the author worked at a restaurant and every evening when they sat for dinner, he and his friends would complain that the soup was runny, that the bread seems stale, the coffee was tasteless and so on. There was a slightly older man who would eat his dinner in silence and never complain. One day the soup was particularly bad and the author and his friend decided to protest with the owner and said to this old man, “you never complain, but you must protest this time, this is really bad food and it’s a problem”. The old man looks at them and says “I lived in a concentration camp and learnt that a problem is when someone is pointing a gun to your head or a car is about to mow you down or a knife is inches away from your throat. Rest are all inconveniences ! So the soup being bad is an inconvenience, not a problem”.

I think of this story often, and try not to convert an inconvenience to a problem.

If you really see, Life is inconvenient – the expectation is set right at birth, when you are pushed through a narrow canal out into the world, and the chord that supplied you sustenance is cut and it is inconvenient to be out of the warm cocoon of the womb. Then death comes minutes, hours, months or years later and then you dont have any problems or inconveniences, BUT you want to live and not die. Our tolerance for inconveniences needs to increase – they are everywhere.

I rearranged my facial muscles into a smile in the morning and suddenly the inconvenience of an intermittent internet was funny !!!

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