Sunday, August 16, 2015

#BlogElul 2: Act

My dad is forever telling me that I expect too much from people -- especially when it comes to the ways they act.  

Although I can't control others' actions, I can try to control my reactions to them.

My challenge is not to react with anger or frustration -- which has neither an outlet nor a benefit -- when the acts of others fail to meet my expectations. These acts, in particular, seem to rile me up the most, and, when I see them, take the most effort for me to remain calm:
  1. Sitting on the steps in Penn Station, obstructing the banister for those who need it to walk down the stairs.
  2. Talking loudly on the phone in public places.
  3. Texting and walking, especially in narrow spaces where other pedestrians cannot pass.
  4. Standing directly in front of the Select Bus ticket machines, blocking others who want to buy tickets, especially when a bus is approaching. 
  5. Failing to give up their seat for someone holding a child, a folded stroller, or a cane.
  6. Failing to hold the elevator for a neighbor a mere three paces behind.
  7. Failing to recognize how loud and disruptive giggling and incessant chatter can be when nearby colleagues are trying to work.
  8. Failing to greet the doorman or thank him for opening and holding the door. 
  9. Placing a backpack, purse or packages on an empty seat on a crowded train. 
  10. Standing in the doorway of a subway car when others are trying to enter or exit. (Get out and then back in, or move elsewhere in the car. Everyone will thank you.) 
  11. Littering, especially cigarette butts.
  12. Manspreading.
  13. Conducting a group conversation in the middle of the sidewalk, especially at rush hour.
Inspired by Ima on (and off) the Bima,this #BlogElul post is one in a series marking the days of the Hebrew month of Elul, which precedes the Jewish High Holidays and traditionally serves as a time of reflection and spiritual preparation for the new year.