A while back, I was waiting in the airport for the last leg of a flight home. When the airline folks announced another delay, you could hear a collective groan at the gate. For most of us, it had been a long day already and we were tired and more than a little cranky.
Then the airline staff announced that the flight was going to be completely full, the luggage bins would be full, and if we had large carry on baggage, would we mind letting them check it, free of charge. No one volunteered.
As I looked around the gate area, I saw a bunch of people with “carry ons” that looked huge. I started to get really irritated that people were so inconsiderate. Their bags were clearly larger than they were supposed to be! Who were they to think that they should be entitled to bring on luggage that was obviously too big? Why should they hog up all the space? Because of these space hogs other people might have to check their ‘right size’ carry on luggage.
I started getting a little (okay, that’s an understatement!) righteous about how people should behave and what is fair and right. Then it dawned on me – I could fume all I wanted to. I could judge these people as inconsiderate boors. I could glare at the space hogs and their too-big luggage. And it would not change a single thing!
A brief prayer went up – asking for the serenity to accept the things I can not change and suddenly, I had a thought…wouldn’t it be fun to make a game of this? Pretend for a while that I WAS in charge – play a game of “If I Ruled the World…” Starting with if I ruled the world, space hogs wouldn’t get to hog the luggage compartment space!
I hate to admit it, but nearly every day, I find myself peeved about things I can’t control from my favorite basketball team firing a coach I liked (unjustly!!) to being floored over our choices for elected leaders to utter amazement over a deeply flawed legal system.
I can stew over the things I can’t change or lift my spirits by allowing myself to be Queen of the World, wave my magic wand, and experience a sense of omnipotence – if only for a moment!
Then it seems a little easier to just accept that each and every one of us lives in our own little world, with our own set of rules and expectations of life. We tend to think we’re all operating with the same “rule book,” and it’s pretty shocking to realize we’re not.
So the next time you’re wondering ‘OMG! What is that idiot doing?’ and getting frustrated by it, you might want to play the “If I ruled the world game.” See if you can lighten up about your beliefs and expectations of others instead of getting aggravated and annoyed!
BTW – I’d love to hear – if YOU ruled the world, what would be different? 😉