We were trying to cross the road with the kids – everyone on our respective bikes. Just as it was all clear for pedestrians/bikes to cross, our older kid experienced trouble getting started. As there were only a few seconds left, I decided we needed to turn back and wait for the next round.
So, I turned back to the sidewalk, parked my bike, got to her, picked her up, and got her back.
Through this process, there was a car waiting to turn right. They saw this charade on the road and decided that the appropriate response was to scream at me.
So, as I turned back and apologized to them, I became aware of some serious screaming and gesticulating.
More screaming ensued as I went back to get our child back.
I think they were trying to explain that they wanted to turn quickly and that I was wasting their time. I have to assume they were in a burning hurry. I hope it wasn’t an emergency where 10 seconds made the difference between life and death.
Then again, it probably wasn’t.
In a world where everything is instant, it is more common than ever to not want to wait.
As I am in the process of adopting stoicism as my philosophy of life, I was reflecting on what I could have done better from a stoic point of view.
I think I did well to not succumb to anger. But, I was flustered and annoyed and missed the opportunity to respond with calm, grace, and humor.
For next time.