Pet Peeves

I just saw a Facebook post about pet peeves. Besides dog-eared and broken spines, the OP wanted to know what bugged readers most about books. While giving the question some valuable brain space, I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone around the world is so freaking peeved over minor irritants all the time. When we look at what’s making headlines, dangerous viruses, wars, genetically modified food-like substances that fill our grocer’s shelves, crime, poverty … they just really don’t matter.

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An example from my life? Rude shoppers. But I’ve come to realize, they aren’t my problem. My problem is how I react to the actions of others that I have absolutely no control over. I can’t make those people be more polite, so I just need to learn to ignore them. They might check their manners at the door when they grab a cart, but I choose whether to let them ruin an hour or so of my day.

Another thing I’ve complained about is bad drivers. Like the above example, I have zero control over how those people drive, but they pretty much always stress me out.

But that’s where the similarities end. Rude shoppers are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Bad drivers, however, are not. They speed like demons, zigzag between other vehicles, run red lights and stop signs, and don’t think twice about cutting people off—and semi drivers are some of the worst offenders! And let’s not even talk about drivers who drink, do drugs, and can’t put their cell phones down.

Anyway, those things are legitimate reasons for getting upset. They aren’t peeves, they’re acts that can alter and end lives. And all anyone can do in those situations is to always, always be on the defensive. To be aware of what’s going on all around you in an effort to keep you and your passengers safe.

More things worthy of my ire? Pedophiles, rapists, and murderers who hide behind the screens of their phones and computers in hopes of finding a victim. I care about all of the teens who have attempted or succeeded in ending their lives because of cyber bullying. I care about the children and animals hurt at the hands of those who don’t value any life but their own.

But still, ‘pet peeves’ seem to get a lot more attention—unless something major happens to make the news. It’s like so many people are wearing them as a badge of honor, seeing who can come up with the pettiest peeve that will making everyone reading their comment say—oh yeah, that’s a great peeve. I forgot all about that one. And so they have another reason to invite stress, anger, hatred, and other negative emotions into their hearts.

I don’t know about them but my health is more important than adding to the list of things that annoy me. That’s just depressing. And so I’m going to make an effort to stop thinking about the pet peeves of others … and focus more on what makes me happy.

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