Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast the First Stone

"How rude," she huffed. 

I looked at her askance, but there was no irony in her tone. I have previously witnessed a number of incidents involving egregious behavior on her part, yet here she was casting strong verbal judgement on another who was, so far, five minutes late. 

In confined spaces (such as public transportation) there is the communal hazard of the chatty phone conversation maintained at annoying decibels. Yet, in many cases, if that transgressor found himself idle, another's loud discourse with his wife regarding plumbing would result in glares and sniffs at his inconsideration. 
Asher Freeman
I've definitely been guilty of this myself; we are acutely aware of being sinned against, but when it comes to our own boo-boos, we are not so aware. 

I thought of this as Dr. Perri Klass, in "A Taste of My Own Manners," ruefully confessed that all pages, even if they were not urgent, would get precedent if she was with a patient. Now she realizes what it is like on the other side as patients tote smartphones. Karma. 
What are the ethics of keeping one another waiting?
She went with her mother to the eye doctor and was annoyed for being parked in the waiting room endlessly, yet the next day kept her own patients waiting as she chatted with a colleague and checked her messages. 
The truth is, I was in the doctor’s time zone. And I had a feeling of hard-working entitlement that coexisted remarkably easily with the very recent memory of my own sense of outrage at being made to wait.
When I have a sense of outrage creeping up on me for a slight, I sometimes have the presence of mind to pause, and wonder: Have I been guilty of this? Do I even have the right to be angry? 


Kate said...

You are so right. I find that I react to two extremes. The first is behavior in a person that I would never display, e.g. passive aggressive. Of course, the flip side is that people may find me too direct or too willing to confront. The second, and harder for me to admit, is when I witness a flaw in someone else that I also possess, like a tendency to run late. Why are we hardest on the people who are the most like us?

Princess Lea said...

Psychological defense. I forgot which one, I always confuse them. The Chofetz Chaim said it before Freud, how we are quick to jump on the shared flaws in others.

In my case, I am the QUEEN of passive-aggressive. I'm terrible at confrontation. Although I've managed to make it a delicate yet deadly weapon of my own forging. It has its uses.

I'm so trying to tackle tolerance, but I'm still flagging behind. Soldier on!

Nechama said...

"A mentch is a shpiggel"
It's always easier to watch someone else get it wrong... far more telling to see a mirror. I just try to be cognizant that it is a lesson for myself.

Princess Lea said...

One needs to be aware in order to catch oneself in the act.