Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What will you do if you were in my shoes?

I don’t know what it is about us Pinoys that makes us so incapable of waiting patiently in our spot. It happens all the time. Whether it’s at the airport, a movie theater, fast food restaurant, or traffic—we Pinoys always try to find ways to bypass the line and create our own line—so we can get ahead of everybody.

It happened to me recently, I was at the North station of MRT 3. I was about to buy tickets for us (Kyle, my Mom and I) as we’re going South bound. It was a weekend, so I wasn’t in a hurry. There was one person ahead of me who was transacting with the ticket seller. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, a lady came near me (I was so sure she’s not a senior citizen yet)—and subtly positioned herself on the right side of the line, in between the man before me and myself. In my mind, “Wait a minute, is this lady about to sneak in the line?” I was struggling a little bit, kind of staring at her, waiting for the slightest move on her part that would indicate that she was indeed trying to pull a fast one. When the man who was ahead of me finished his transaction and left, this sneaky lady suddenly cut right in front of me (like the way they do in playing basketball) and she told the ticket seller she was heading somewhere south.

Blood rushed to my head, I was pissed. But for a second I debated with myself—“Do I let this rude person get away with it?” Or do I take the higher ground to let it go?” That split second felt like an eternity. I was telling myself, “In the whole scheme of things, allowing this person to go ahead will not affect my life. I am not in a hurry, anyway. She, on the other hand, might really be in a rush. Also, allowing her to go ahead might earn me brownie points in heaven. But darn it, I can’t seem to accept the fact that she’s pulling a fast one at—my expense! She should be taught a lesson. She can’t do this and expect to get away with it!

At the end of that nanosecond debate, I decided to just grin and bear it. Sweating the small stuff would only worsen the scenario. After all, I don’t want to fight with anyone. Even if my eyes rolled in surprise that I’m shutting my mouth for the first time.

I’m sure a lot of you does relate with my MRT 3 experience. You must have experienced a person cutting in front of you. And it pisses you off, right? Then you say, “Hay naku, mga Pinoy talaga!” As sad as it seems, though, I think we’re being a bit too unfair to ourselves. Pushing and shoving and trying to be the first in line is not exactly a Pinoy invention. One writer I know says it’s human nature. Sure, Westerners seem to be more disciplined when it comes to lining up. But they can be crazy too.

We could see on world news what kind of chaos happens in other countries. So really now, this knack of being impatient in lines is a universal thing. The animal nature in us tells us, “Go and get what you want—kill everyone who blocks your way.” But our conscience tells us, “Now, now behave. You have to act like a decent human being. Line up properly and wait for your turn.” So it’s a war that goes on your head and unfortunately, everyday we have to fight it. You could only shake your heads and go utter, Tsk, tsk, tsk…”

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