EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE

by
Olga S. Hardman



Yesterday started out badly and remained so until evening.  My responses to the day’s happenings reveal 2 major character flaws -- #1 being my impatience and #2 being my inclination to judge others.  It is possible that these are in the wrong order of placement. 

I went to the doctor’s office at 8:30 a.m. thinking that if I went early enough I could pick up my lab order early.  I could then go immediately to the lab and have my blood drawn.  Then I could go directly to the grocery store with enough time left to put the groceries away before my 12:00 noon piano lesson. 

Instead, I had to sit in the doctor’s office for 45 minutes waiting for the lab orders.  Then, after going to the lab, I learned that I had to go downstairs to Room 107 to register.  By then there was a crowd in Room 107, so I had to get in line and wait. 

After I got the necessary paperwork in the registration office, I returned to the lab only to find that by now there was another line to get into.  By this time, I was #6 in line. An hour later, after having left 3 vials of my blood with the lab technician, I fumed toward my car.  If my internal state had been visible at the time, I’m sure one could have observed thick, black smoke spiraling upward from both my ears.  Of course, by then, it was too late to go to the grocery store.  It was then 11:00 a.m., so I decided to return home to await my 12:00 student. At 11:45 a very embarrassed adult piano student called to inform me that she had completely forgotten about the changed lesson time. Hence she did not have her music books with her and therefore could not keep her appointed lesson that day. 

After I hung up the phone, my thought was simply that Fate had conspired to waste my valuable time.  So I proceeded to waste the next hour looking at a new magazine while I awaited the time for meeting 2 friends for lunch at 1 o’clock. 

Now you can guess what happened at lunch!  I sat in a draft and the waitress gave me a cup of coffee that could have walked by itself.  She also failed to bring me the garlic bread I had ordered, but charged me for it anyway. 

When I finally got to the grocery store between 4 and 5 p.m.,  I was feeling very resentful.  I had to rush to be ready for another lesson at 6:15 and I had to sandwich dinner in there somewhere. 

There was something about this day however, that was different from such days in the past.  I kept getting little flashes of insight.  (A typographical error just made that word 'sinsight'-- quite a revelation, eh?)  It was as if an inner voice said, “Look at yourself!” 

When I finally did look at myself, I realized that I had judged everyone I had encountered that day as inefficient, inconsiderate, incompetent, and absolutely out to ruin my day. (Oh, I forgot to tell you that the grocery store didn’t have the product for which I had a $1 off coupon.) You can imagine what I thought of that store manager. 

If I had not stopped to examine my own conscience, I would have believed that my bad day was the fault of everyone whose life mine had touched that day.  Instead, when I looked at myself, I realized that the problem was my own lousy attitude.  So now I’m finally trying to send my judgments in the right direction -- toward myself. 
 
 

©1996 Olga S. Hardman