SERENITY Now!!!


Did you ever have one of those days when all the pushing and shoving and lack of respect gets to you?

A day where you feel like a small itty bitty ticking time-bomb ready to release verbal grenades at an innocent passer-by for looking at you the wrong way.

I’ve had a few lapses in patience lately and I must say I don’t really like this loose cannon side of myself.

The first time it happened, I pushed pass a young woman who got off the bus and stood there blocking my exit.

She got off the bus chatting on her phone and for some reason did not realize anyone else was getting off behind her!  I wasn’t impressed and I forcefully pushed her to the side with the junk in my trunk.

She called me a bitch I’m presuming, she spoke another language, however her demeanour reminded me of a child having a tantrum, so yeah I think she called me a bitch.   I honestly deserved it.  I could of said – excuse me can you please move so I can get off.

The second time it happened was last night, after the gym as I was heading home.  I lined up at the subway station waiting  for the bus.  In most cases it is incredibly well organized with one line for the front door and one for the back.

I was at the front of the line for the back door, other customers lined up behind me.  This one older Jamaican woman (found out she was Jamaican when she cussed me out in patois) decided to stand beside me while others lined up behind.

When the bus came she tried to get on the bus before me, I pushed by her and grabbed a seat.  I convinced myself I was proving a point to her and that she was no different than the other forty people waiting patiently in line.

She sat at the back of the bus and another woman she knew joined her.  Throughout the whole bus ride they discussed my rudeness and other incidents of rudeness.  They spoke patois and made a few derogatory “white” comments about me and some other girl.  I didn’t take offence, after all it enhanced her story to her friend.

I thought about getting up and apologizing for my rudeness, I really did but something held me back.  In that instance I realized that although my behaviour was wrong, they were having a blast discussing it.  I could hear them laughing and going on and on about other incidents.

I guess my marriage to a Jamaican paid off after all, I giggled at some of their back and forth in patois.  I got off the bus at my stop without looking back.

I’m usually extremely laid back and I don’t usually get upset that easily, somehow I’ve lost my serenity.  These incidents are a reminder of where I was 20 years ago.

When I first moved to Toronto, I was really taken back by the hustle and bustle of the city.  I came from a small town in New Brunswick where politeness is overwhelmingly sickening.

At one point a woman hit me with her purse as I went down an escalator and she accused me of trying to steal it.

I offered a disabled individual my seat only to be told off, about how if they wanted a seat they would ask for it.

I greeted people on the street with good morning, good afternoon and good evening and a woman actually told me to keep my good evening to myself lol.

After about a year of this I was at a bus stop ironically with an older Jamaican man… a bit of deja vu and I was going on and on about how rude people were to me in Toronto.

He said “so what do you do when they are rude to you?”  I said ” I do the same to them.”

He proceeded to tell me that I turned into the people I complained about.  I looked at him with disbelief but I knew deep down inside he was right.

It is easy to let things interfere with our serenity.  As a rule after my wonderful encounter with this older man I made an effort to put myself in the other person’s shoes.  I worked on not letting things affect me so deeply.

Today I needed a reminder of that conversation over 20 years ago as a newbie to the city with this wonderful thoughtful man.  He had the guts to tell me the truth.

The heat of the moment can be captivating, the harder thing in these situation is letting go.

So for what it’s worth I’m sorry and if I encounter either of the women I was rude too recently I will apologize.  After all I can’t change what I’ve done but I can make amends.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (people, places & things)

The courage to change the things I can (myself)

and the wisdom to know the difference.

3 comments

  1. It’s funny! Just the other day I was walking towards a couple holding hands and there was no clear path around them. Instead of letting go to let me pass or move to the side they almost walked over me. I was so infuriated that I exclaimed, “Could you move? I am trying to get by.”

    Common courtesy goes along way and lately I am just tired of the rudeness of a bigger city. I guess maybe it is time to take a deep breath and remember not to turn into one of those people.

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