A man walks by a fountain everyday. Each day, he tosses a penny in for luck. It’s no big deal or loss to him. What does a penny matter, right? Consider that at the end of a year, he will have thrown in $3.65. Still not a big deal? Say 10 people do it. What about 100? $365 laying at the bottom of a fountain, does that have your attention? This is how accidents, rudeness, apathy, and other inconveniences work when they are closely grouped to an individual.
Take into consideration someone whom you cause a “minor inconvenience” to. You didn’t hold the elevator door, something small. No big deal, right? But when the door shuts you hear slam his fist into the door and curse. That was a bit overdramatic, wasn’t it? But what if I told you someone had already cut him off in traffic, stepped on his foot, was splashed by a taxi, someone knocked into him and spilled his coffee, and THEN you didn’t hold the elevator for him. Does that change your perception? To him, you’ve become another brick in the wall.
When you’ve become a brick in someone’s wall, your perception of it is this:
Meanwhile, to the person you’ve become a brick to, their perception of it may be this:
Sometimes you need to change your perspective, your point of view. To see what others are seeing to fully grasp where they are coming from. Of course, this means not being self-centered and apathetic to the world around you.
Externally, you may not understand why someone walks past you without returning a greeting. You may call them any of a series of names to make yourself feel better in exchange for their rudeness. Later, you find out they just heard that a family member had died and were on their way to be with their family. When you put yourself in their spot and realize you were doing nothing more than throwing bricks on the wall to them, how do you feel then?
What’s worse is you don’t know how many people have been throwing bricks in the wall. You don’t know how long it’s been going on. So when a person responds “out of whack” with the situation at hand, perhaps you should respond with a concerned “What’s wrong?” rather than a retalitory “What’s wrong with you?”
A little compassion and common courtesy could go a long way.
“All in all it was all just bricks in the wall.
All in all you were all just bricks in the wall.” -Pink Floyd