“It requires less character to discover the faults of others than is does to tolerate them.” – J. Petit Senn

Lately, people have been getting on my last nerve. Well, people tend to get on my nerves quite frequently, but it seems I’m being irritated by other people even more than usual.

I have no idea if this is something amiss with me and my low tolerance level, or if other people are acting loonier than is normal.

I could go on and list the small irritants I have witnessed of late, but that would alienate people and only add to the problems. I would become more of an irritant to them if I start making a list.

Not only that, but I would get irritated all over again if I began writing down all the stupid stuff I’ve been watching people do. I’m already cranky enough without rehashing it all out again.

It isn’t like anyone has been pleading (not even asking, really) for my intervention into their messed up lives. No one has looked to me and hoped I would kindly lay out the wisdom of the ages for their benefit. No one has been silently wishing and hoping I would boss them around.

They just keep on acting just like they have always behaved and for some odd reason, possibly due to weeks of crappy weather or not enough sunlight or some other insignificant stimulus, it is bothering me.

Maybe it is because right now I’m feeling less assured about my own wisdom or ability. Or maybe it is because I’m feeling a bit pressured by my own list of shortcomings and I don’t want to feel lonesome.

But I keep looking around and seeing where other people are (thankfully) even dumber than me. They are making choices even stupider than the ones I’m making. They are acting just like a bunch of – people.

No one is perfect. Most people don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves, “I wonder how much I can screw up today.” Most of us start each day hoping we can be at the very least, adequate. We don’t want to fail. We strive and strain and hope we manage to do at least a bit of good.

And yet, we don’t always manage to make even this low goal. The lofty goals of high achievement and winning something monumental are just not the normal fare for daily life. We are lucky to make it through without falling flat on our collective faces.

It would probably be better for all of us if we could remember that everyone is fighting an uphill battle. We are all struggling with the difficulties crossing our paths routinely, daily, moment by moment. We try. We would really like to do, but there are times when all we have is that good old college try.

And so, I should remember that other people aren’t going out of their way to irritate me. In fact, they wish I would get out of their way and stop irritating them.

Probably, the best thing we could all do for each other is tolerate, accept, sympathize, acknowledge that each of us is merely human. We don’t mean to be a pest. We are trying to muddle through here.

We each need to build enough character to tolerate the humanity of the rest of the people getting in our way. Because we are in their way and we, too, wish to be granted tolerance.

You know, just writing that makes me less cranky.