Impatience isn’t helping

There’s a lot of impatience in our culture. It probably has some good effects, but today let’s consider a few of the bad ones. It tends to cause people to fly off the handle when things aren’t working the way they are used to. It also (probably) is what’s behind a lot of the nonsense on our streets and highways. Impatient drivers tend to go too fast, for one thing. Impatience and the inattention that goes along with it is probably behind the epidemic of drivers passing schoolbuses when they are loading and unloading.
It may be simple impatience that results in drivers being unable to wait until they get home or to work (or wherever) to check that text message and to answer it. In Slave Lake, nine times out of 10, this is a matter of three or four minutes. No great sacrifice to put off that particular pleasure. But just look at how many people can’t, or won’t.
Then there’s the whole snow-rage issue. Through the course of last week we noticed several bad spots and considered letting somebody at the town know about them. But a slippery intersection had been treated with sand the next time we went by it. Another annoyingly ignored piece of sidewalk we were getting ready to blast somebody about, but it too had been taken care of the next time we went by.
Street not plowed? Just wait a bit. The grader will get to it. Trails too slippery? Be patient; before you know it, grit has been spread on all the worst spots. People are, in fact, on the job. And eventually they get to most of what needs to be done.
On the other hand, (as we keep mentioning, tediously) some private property owners are dropping the ball on their bits of sidewalk. One is that chunk of no-man’s-land in front of what used to be True Value Hardware. Is there not a solution to that? An important piece of downtown has a barrier to many walkers, seniors and physically impaired people among them. Not to mention people pushing baby strollers, or using walkers. The question has to be asked: do we want this to be a senior-friendly community? A handicap-accessible community? If the answer is ‘yes,’ we need to find solutions to these things. Some people just aren’t up to wading through snowdrifts, or even negotiating the unevenness of packed footpaths through snow.
And….. after this was written, somebody did clear off the above-mentioned piece of sidewalk. Thanks! Maybe we should have had more patience on that one. Now the snow is gone, replaced by a sheet of ice.
However, there are still people who should know better who are not lifting a finger to make life a bit easier for the less agile and mobile members of our communities.
While we’re at it, let’s give a nod of acknowledgement to the folks with machines who do a fair amount of good neighbourly sidewalk clearing. In some cases the neighbours are getting a free ride, because they are certainly capable of doing it themselves. In others, they aren’t and it’s a very much appreciated service. The walkers appreciate it too!

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