Daily life is full of irritations and stuff that ticks us off, so to speak. We're talking here about the minor aggravations that get blown into mountains and not the really awful stuff that requires intervention and is beyond our own ability to resolve. The things we're talking about here are things like rudeness from other drivers, people in grocery store lines, wives, children, husbands, inlaws, neighbors, television bloviators--anything and anyone who does, says, or is thinking about doing something that really, really ticks us off. Unfortunately, the Curmudgeonly Professor has remained in the "bear a grudge forever" category. One of my sons, an attorney, whose dress style during the 70s was totally egregious, is successful at ignoring stuff. In fact, some times he ignores stuff he should probably pay attention to, like sending in the book refusal cards to book clubs. Which reminds me, I'd better check mine so I don't get a couple more unwanted book shipments soon.
Practice and patience would be great virtues for me so I would stop calling every other driver an idiot, a moron, a moron and idiot combined, or a jerk. Some people I have known are skilled at turning on the deep freeze and not speaking for interminable lengths of time when offended. Family feuds have originated by taking offense at others' behavior over stuff that could have more efficiently been ignored. People say they "hate" each other and don't want anything to do with them. People disown family members for joining another church. I thought my dad was going to disown me when I became a democrat, with a small "d." My dad also thought I should stay home and work in the bank where I had a job after my freshman year of college rather than return to school. One feud I knew about didn't get settled until my dad's funeral when both brothers, in their 90s, finally shook hands.
I know my own life would be easier if I would just let stuff blow by and pretend it didn't happen. Unfortunately, I have taught all my grandchildren to call other drivers morons and idiots, and I don't know how to correct that egregious mistake on my part. The act of forgiveness is something many of us are not very good at. I may or may not forgive my high school sweetie who ditched me for the senior prom and went with a real loser instead. I reminded her of her terrible mistake a couple of years ago, a mere 60 years later, and I don't think she felt a bit guilty. What are we to do? I think I need to make a better and more sustained effort at turning the TV off, ignoring other drivers and idiots, forgiving others for stuff I don't need to remember, and, in general, learn some patience and better manners. We'll see how it goes. You can practice also, if you wish. Or not.