by: David Leonhardt
"Where are your
bananas?" It seemed like a logical question to ask. For all of my forty
trips around the sun, bananas were a key item to place in the grocery cart. For
the first time I could recall, the banana bin was empty. So I asked a store
worker where the bananas were.
"We don't have any,"
he replied. "We'll be getting some in tomorrow."
It took me a few moments to
absorb this information. "What do you mean you don't have any?" I
thought. "Every store has bananas." True, sometimes they are almost
green enough to pass for bent cucumbers. And they occasionally appear to have
lost an arm-wrestling match with a watermelon. But there are always bananas of
some sort in the store.
Then it dawned on me just how
foolish my expectations were. I live well north of New York City. Even if
somebody invented a way to cultivate them in the Great White North, it was
early April, and they would not bear fruit at that time of year. For goodness
sake, outside the snow was falling and inside I was expecting tropical bananas!
If you commute in a big city,
you might have noticed traffic grinding to a halt. Why? Look to bananas for the
answer. Just as I was frustrated by my grocery expectations not being met,
millions of commuters are frustrated daily by their traffic expectations not
Consider some of the major
machines in your life, such as television. Twenty years ago, we would watch a
TV show. Ads would come and ads would go, but we would watch it from start to
finish. Who does that these days?
"What were you watching,
"I dunno. But I think I
caught 412 channels."
And if ever you should lose the
converter ... I know, I know, this is a family publication, so we'll cut the
And what about the Internet? If
a web site takes more than five seconds to load, where are we?
"Did you order that book
from Amazon for me?"
"I dunno. But I think I
reached warp speed with my clicking finger. Ouch! I think I sprained it."
If fancy TV gadgets and
high-speed Internet feed our impatience, what about car ads? Vrroooooommm. See
how fast this car can go? Wow. It does zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds ... in the ad.
And zero to zero in half an hour stuck on the Santa Monica Freeway.
As we expect our machines each
day to break yesterday's speed record, our cars seem to be slowing to a crawl.
That's because more and more people are squeezing onto the same road space
trying to zoom faster and faster and honking their horns louder and louder
(because we all know that cars move faster when their horns get honked, right?
Especially when they get honked LONG and LOUD, right?).
Is it just me, or is this poor
math? A realist would expect traffic to get a little slower each year, which
just proves how rare realists really are. Every one of us expects to move
faster and faster.
And I expect bananas on the
store shelf even when it is snowing outside. So what can we do? Easy, we can
grumble and complain. We can shout abusive words at store clerks and other
drivers. We can honk our horns (not recommended in the fruit section).
Or we can step back and ask
ourselves logical questions about what we should realistically expect. For
instance, "Can I really expect bananas on my grocer's shelves in the
middle of winter when I know the truck is stuck in traffic?"
About The Author
This article was adapted from
an edition of Your Daily Dose of Happiness at http://TheHappyGuy.com/daily-happiness-free-ezine.html
published by David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy, author of Climb Your Stairway to
Heaven: the 9 habits of maximum happiness at http://TheHappyGuy.com/happiness-self-help-book.html
. Visit his web site at http://TheHappyGuy.com.
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