My son is visiting Tulsa for a few days from his home in Boulder. I am blessed that at the age of 29 he enjoys coming to visit often and hanging out with me. Last night our evening’s entertainment was a concert by ZZ Top at our local Hard Rock Casino and Hotel.
Our tickets were comp’s that had to be picked up will-call once he and I arrived. With no idea where we might be sitting, we were thrilled once the tickets were in hand to see our seats were “center section on the floor”. When the show began we were only nine rows back from the stage. We had great seats where everyone was well behaved and sitting down as the concert began.
During the third song a couple arrived to occupy the empty seats just in front of my son and me. That’s actually not completely factual. They never sat down. Every single person in the entire section was sitting down except this man and woman who arrived late to block our almost complete the view of the show. So for about 35 minutes or so we watched the concert on the projected screens on each side of the stage. Otherwise our view of the stage was almost completely blocked.
We were both irritated. At one point my son said something like “I can’t believe we’re 20 feet from the stage and can’t see the show”. I said “wanna stand up like they are?” to which he replied “No. Then we’d be the only other two people in the whole section standing”. So we continued to sit, watch the jumbo-trons and the 30 something couple boogieing in one spot right in front of us.
This morning looking back I am struck by the thought of how some people live their life so out of touch with an awareness all about themself. They simply can’t or choose not to coexist with the world in a caring manner. Instead their inward focus causes them to be largely oblivious of their impact on others. I wonder. Is it they just don’t care? Are many of this sort simply sleep walking through life without any consciousness of people around them? Are they mean spirited because life made them that way or out of choice?
Both my son and I were tempted to say something to our concert view blockers, but decided not to. Our conclusion was to give the two people in front of us the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they don’t get out much. Maybe they can’t afford to attend many concerts. Maybe they had to save for months to afford the tickets to the show. Maybe ZZ Top’s music has some sort of ultra special meaning to the couple. Maybe….. Whatever the reason, the couple was completely in their own world without a care for anyone else.
Somewhere past half way through the show, the couple to the right in our row motioned to my son they were leaving and gave us their seats. We moved over and for the remainder of the concert were able to see very well from our great seats in the ninth row.
In case you’re wondering, the standing couple never sat down once during the entire show. Not once! As I reflect back there are still thoughts in my head asking “how can people be so completely inconsiderate of others?” All excuses we made for them put aside, I wonder how much of the rest of their life they will live in this manner. I wonder how much of their own behavior comes back to them and if it shades their life negatively creating a spiral of “we don’t care”. Maybe they will learn better as they get older.
My gratitude this morning is strong that my son and I said nothing to the couple in front of us blocking our view. If either one of them was a hot head with an attitude, who knows where that could have taken the four of us.
My thankfulness also includes the couple who let us have their seats. Their kindness was a sharp contrast to the lack of caring of the view-blockers.
Most of all I am grateful to get to spend time with my son doing something we both enjoy so much: seeing a live music performance. I am lucky to have the relationship with that exists with my son and for us to enjoy each other as much as we do. I won’t forget the inconsiderate couple at the concert, but that memory will mostly fade given time. What I will always remember is being there with my son and the good show we got to experience together. For three old guys, ZZ Top still kicks butt!
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Be good anyway.
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People need help, but may attack you if you try to help them.
Help them anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
credited to Mother Teresa