Over the last few weeks, I’ve been asking myself the same question over and over again, so I decided to just write about it hoping the answer will come to me. “As I age, and as a woman over fifty, am I becoming more tolerant or less?” That is the question.
I‘ve always considered myself a tolerant person, even compassionate at times. However, I’ve noticed a change in my being when confronted with people (friends, family, colleagues, strangers, cashiers, waiters, etc.) who try my patience. I just don’t want to be terribly inconvenienced any more, and don’t like people wasting my time – or insulting my soul, because both are precious.
For example, if I have a doctor’s appointment at 3:30, I have to leave work early and basically hurry so I’m not late. Then, I end up sitting there for over an hour before anyone acknowledges I’m next. My response? I’m angry (even though I’ve brought a great book to read) because on that particular day, I’ve got tons of work to complete and a major deadline. The doctor and his staff do not seem to care at all. I get annoyed and become intolerant.
Or, I get a call from a friend or client and have to inform them I can’t talk because I’m running off to an appointment and I’ll call them later. And, guess what? They keep talking as if they didn’t’ hear me. So, I get annoyed and become intolerant.
Or, I’m waiting for a plumber at 8 a.m. and at 10:00 I’m still waiting. I call the plumber and get no response. I become intolerant.
It seems to me that I used to be more tolerant. For example, I used to feel compassion for perpetrators of heinous crimes, because after all, aren’t they sick? But, for example, after hearing about that hideous case in Cleveland where one man tortured, abused, and chained several young girls for almost a decade, I no longer feel the least bit of compassion for such criminals. I just feel like they deserve to die. So when that criminal was found dead in his cell, I felt it was a perfect ending for him.
So, I guess I’m just becoming less tolerant after all? What about you?