Sometimes, those of us on the receiving end of service are extremely impatient with those who deliver that service. We can consider numerous examples without any trouble. These are the people at cash registers, service stations, nail salons, customer service lines and every other place where we get something tangible or intangible from someone else.

It’s easy to become dissatisfied with these folks. We’ve had to wait in line, on hold or whatever time-killer applies to the situation. But the important issue is that these delays are seldom the responsibility of the person with whom we are in contact. If we’re on hold for thirty-seven minutes, the lady or man whom we reach is not to blame. If it’s a store crowded with holiday or other shoppers and we need to wait for them to check out, the person at the register is not to blame.

Perhaps this is a lesson for life in general. Whenever we see life events only through our lenses, we tend to be myopic. Just as we have places to visit, family issues to address and financial concerns of one type or another, so do the people whom we encounter. Our pressures are no more or less serious than theirs, but we still owe them the consideration of patience and understanding.

Although this practice is often difficult, I always try to thank the people who have assisted me in any way. When they wish me a good day, I always reciprocate. And when they thank me for my business or writing efforts, I will inevitably express my appreciation.

What’s even more difficult is practicing this habit with those who are closest to us. We are very clear about the problems that wake us up and prevent sleep. Most likely, those who are in our vicinities are also troubled with the same or different thoughts. They are also entitled to our kindness and arguably greater thoughtfulness. Shalom.

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