It seems people don’t mind putting up with other people in their world, as long as they don’t get in the way. Nowhere was this more evident than at the ice skating rink last week. Now, I know what you’re thinking … ice skating rinks are not exactly a bastion of peace on earth and good will towards our fellow homo sapiens. Even still, Cheryl was taken aback by one woman’s comments last Wednesday. This middle aged woman was sharing a hockey rink sized piece of ice with Beth and six other youths. She had one close encounter with a certain five year old with six months worth of skating lessons, and subsequently pulled that same five year old aside to ask her a question. Beth apparently responded to this question with a pointing gesture towards Cheryl. The older woman skated over and said to Cheryl, “I don’t think your daughter is old enough to be skating around alone.” I’m not sure what she was expecting, but she apparently didn’t get it. Cheryl responded, “I think you should watch where you’re going. If you don’t want to skate with kids, maybe you should come out when school’s in session.”
Beth can be reckless, but she’s too new to skating to be intentionally careless. She’s at least a couple of lessons shy of doing anything other than skating straight – with intent. At the same time, she’s not exactly an accident waiting to happen either. Her feet spend more time on the ice than her back side and she can glide in a straight line, even if she can’t stop on a dime.
We live in a world filled with other people. Why are so many people surprised when they run into one? Will we ever figure out how to coexist?