On Tuesday I worked my once-per-season shift at my Hazon CSA. It mostly involved hanging around and socializing, but every once and a while another volunteer and I would take a bunch of crates that had been emptied of vegetables and bring them down to the basement. On our first trip we carefully loaded the elevator with crates, and just as we were finishing up another woman entered the elevator and pressed five. We were going to the basement, one floor down, but we ended up going up to the fifth floor first, and then back to the main floor, and then finally to the basement. When the woman realized that she had pressed before we did she said, “Oh, sorry” in a posh and slightly snotty British accent.
As soon as she got off the elevator the other volunteer began fuming, calling her names and generally exhibiting a level of rage that I found baffling. So we rode on the elevator longer than intended. It cost us maybe one full minute of our time, and it’s not like we were doing anything difficult for that minute–we were standing in an elevator. The guy continued to badmouth this woman for the rest of our shift, referencing her multiple times, and at one point pulling out his cell phone to call his wife and tell her about the injustice.
Honestly, I was annoyed at the woman, too. But my annoyance lasted exactly as long as the elevator ride. Beyond that, I could not possibly care less. But this guy was completely livid at the injustice of the matter. I don’t know–maybe he had been having a bad day. Maybe he’s generally an unstable person. Maybe he’s interacted with the woman before and knows she’s mean. All I can say for sure is that the amount of energy he put into his vitriol for her was absurd. There is no way she was worth that level of energy.
I’m really not the person to lecture people on holding not holding grudges, since I am known for doing it very well myself (hi, Dad). But it occurred to me in light of my CSA experience, and my recent experience at the Merchant of Venice, that I see a lot of people investing so much time and energy into hating strangers, and it’s really upsetting.
Forgiveness is a virtue, people. If someone is a moron, take comfort in the fact that they have to live with that day in and day out–and you don’t. Move on with your life. Congratulate yourself on being the better person. At the end of the day, you’ll sleep better.