Deposit Yourself … February 7, 2013

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Bank of AmericaWithin the common folklore and tales of the life and times of Jonathan Richard Cring is the notion that I hate banks.

It probably sprang from my early years, when I was so poor that when I walked into one of these institutions, I always felt like everyone in the room knew that I was “weighed by my balance” and found wanting. Over the years I have moderated my feelings and generally speaking, I am fine to go to the drive-through window and put money in without too much fear possessing my soul.

Such was my mission yesterday. Arriving there, I discovered that two lanes were open at the drive-through, one labeled “commercial accounts only,” and the other  for us plebeians. In the lesser lane was a white mini van, which pulled in just in front of me. The driver reached for the magical tube, to begin the transaction. It was a woman. I pulled behind her (since I was not a “commercial account” customer).

And then it happened. As it turns out, she took the tube–not to place her deposit neatly inside, for a quick transaction–but instead to acquire a deposit ticket from the teller, which she would retrieve and sit in her minivan and make out her deposit while I waited behind her.

This is one of my pet peeves.

I thought about changing over to the commercial transaction lane. But you see, that’s where we get in trouble. We get frustrated with our present circumstances, caused by someone breaking the rules, we decide to break the rules ourselves. Then we either get caught doing it or we frustrate somebody else, who comes in, observing us breaking the rules.

I realized I had two choices. I could sit there, staring at her rear end intensely, with its “Baby On Board” bumper sticker (I assume a personal confession to her emotional status).  If I did this, I would discover that fifteen seconds would seem like ten minutes. In no time at all I would be convinced I had sat there for half an hour and would reach for my horn, to blare at the surrounding world, only to receive the edification of the lady’s middle finger.

My second choice was to turn off my engine, totally ignore the situation and do something I was planning to do after I left the bank–out-of-order from my Things to Do Today list. But after all, those little notes I jotted down for myself, to give guidance for my day, aren’t exactly the Ten Commandments.

So I turned off my engine, grabbed a book nearby that I was supposed to peruse, and became deeply engrossed in reviewing the material. So involved was I that upon finishing about eight pages, I looked up and the van had disappeared. The lane was open for my entrance.

As I started my van, from my rear came the honking of a horn. Somebody behind me had selected Choice 1.

I just laughed. “I know how you feel, fella,” I said as I rolled forward to make my deposit.

Here’s the truth–I can’t change the world. Let me go further. I can’t improve the world. What I can do is find a way to make my journey as pleasant, free of tension and forgiving as possible. In doing so, it will appear that the world directly around me has changed. If I can get several friends to join me in that quest, we can generate buffer “safe zones,” where other humans can come and not feel that they need to make excuses, lie, cheat and become angry.

This may be the best we can do. Each one of needs to deposit ourselves in an environment of our own creation, where we select to be who we want to be–no matter how frustrating the circumstances become.

Turn off your engine. Grab a book. And ignore all “babies on board.” This, too, will pass.

Then all you have to deal with … is the terror of going to the bank.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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