There’s a price for tranquility

June 30, 2015

One of the Stoics, I think it was Epictetus, said that we should not be upset with trifle accidents. If your housekeeper drops a vase, do not get upset. Just consider the cost of that vase the price you pay for tranquility.

Something like this happens when I go to Portillo’s.
Their drive thru has two lanes which eventually converge into one before the order taker gets to your car. And naturally, most people stay in lane 1, on the left.

Some people, who come after you, will drive up on lane 2 to pass everyone up. Cutting in line. It’s not illegal. It’s Portillo’s fault for having this type of system. But it causes tension when you’re there first, someone zooms past you and clogs up the traffic when two lanes merge into one.

It’s the same when there’s road construction.
You see from the patterns of cars driving that there must be some kinda issue up ahead. And you look and see the blinking arrow in the distance. Right lane is closed. All cars need to merge to the left. So you plan ahead and get into the correct lane. So do most people.

Then there are the laggards or line cutters who like to speed up on the closed lane as far as possible and cut in front of you as late as possible.

Normally both scenarios make my whole body boil in frustration.
Anytime I’m going to Portillo’s or see a road construction sign, I know this situation will happen. And there’s nothing I can do about it.

What I do now is tell myself that this is the price of tranquility.
If you follow the rules, there will always be people who pass you up by taking shortcuts. Either you can be like them or be like you. But getting upset is a waste of energy.