By TK Chua
Tolerance is such a beautiful word. We love it because it connotes wisdom and magnanimity in us. Usually, people who are tolerant will face less stress and problems in life.
But not everyone is the same. When faced with a situation, some are more tolerant than others. However, some snap easily.
Hindsight is always perfect. After the fact, we usually realise our follies or regret our actions. By then, it is too late.
When a person snaps, usually the consequences are the least of his worries. He is no longer rational or sober.
City life could be like living in a pressure cooker. It is best that our relationships with others is as hassle free as possible. It is best that rules and notices are made clear so that we all know how to behave and what to expect.
A sensible and sensitive person would not honk if he is stuck on the road just outside a mosque during the Friday prayers.
But not everyone is sensible and sensitive. Some are young, rash and impatient or in a hurry to go somewhere.
The guy in the incident in Johor didn’t expect to be blocked there and so he reacted badly.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am not justifying honking outside a mosque. I am merely stating that some may resort to this when stuck on the road unexpectedly.
Increasingly, our towns and cities are getting congested. It is best that the authorities set some ground rules to prevent unwarranted intrusions and confrontations.
If ground rules are available, at least we will not be caught by surprise.
When there are occasions where road closures or extra parking is needed, that information must be made readily available. We do not do things to impose on others unexpectedly.
Quite frankly, how can the authorities allow complete blockage of the main road even though there are occasions where extra parking at the curb is needed?
Those who park “illegally” must at least ensure that other vehicles can continue passing through.
To me, this is tolerance, too. We must make sure that others are not inconvenienced even though the authorities have allowed us to park illegally for special occasions.
I think the cardinal principle to adopt is not to inconvenience or surprise others excessively. When we inconvenience others excessively, be prepared for some absurd reaction because not everyone is cool under pressure.
Once, my car was completed blocked by pasar malam traders even though I had parked in a legally demarcated parking lot.
There was no notice, sign or siren prior to traders “invading” the parking area.
Will it be fair for the traders to expect that everyone parking there is a “local” and therefore well aware of the pasar malam taking place there later in the day?
TK Chua is an FMT reader.
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