Maybe this has happened to you. It seems to happen a lot to me, or at least I notice it happening. Your standing in line and someone steps in front of you. They take cuts. They don’t ask permission. They simply move in front of you, or try to surreptitiously sneak into the line pretending to be unaware of the discourtesy they’ve just shown everyone around them. Or worse, they just don’t care.
There is a lady at my bus stop. We all arrive about the same time and wait for the bus in an random grouping. When the bus approaches, prospective riders begin to form a line and wait to board the bus. This lady waits until the bus stops and will walk right up to the door and get on, completely ignoring the line. I’ve watched her several times, and can see in her eyes she knows what she’s doing.
I remember once I was at the Orlando airport preparing to return home from a speaking engagement. It was crowded and very busy and we had to take our checked baggage to a special room because the conveyor belt behind the ticket agents had broken. So, there I stood in line and as I approached the front, another traveler walked up and stood next to me, even though there were many people behind me. As we approached the special room, this person moved in front of me and dropped of their bag.
I rarely say anything to these people. It just isn’t that important to me who gets on the bus or drops off their bags first. I figure we’ll all get there and if a person feels the need to disregard everyone else, or feels they’re entitled to something, that’s fine with me. There are more fruitful things to spend my energy on than arguing with someone who feels they need to go first.
But I wonder how many times I feel a sense of entitlement in my life. I don’t have to think hard to remember the many times where I’ve taken rather than asked, when I’ve gone first although I should have waited, or when my pride has convinced me that I deserve something at the expense of someone else.
Today I think I will invite someone to take my place in line, humbly offer my seat on the bus to another, or perhaps give to someone with a generous attitude rather than take from a sense of entitlement. It's something I can do.
-- David Kinard, PCM