What Irritates You?

When we were young boys
My cousin who lived out in the country
Would come each summer to sample the joys
Of city life - movies, museums, such things sundry.
Each morning when asked how his nightly sleep had been,
He always complained that all the noise had kept him awake.
Traffic, subway trains, horns honkings, sirens. What a din!
I always had slept well; no notice of these sounds did I take.
Later my turn for a reciprocal visit would arrive.
Then to the country for swimming, fishing, exploring I would go.
Nightly, frogs croaking, crickets chirping, various things alive
Would keep me wide awake all night, wouldn't you just know!
From our visits yearly this is the conclusion I finally derived.
It wasn't the irritant (noises) per se that was the problem nightly,
Instead the trouble arose from 'to what were we regularly accustomed',
Problems with new things in life may lie not in them, but in ourselves rightly.
As an adult I've tried to remember the childhood city versus country situation
Upon encountering a different culture, new cuisine, strange religion, whatever.
Things different may not be wrong, not deserving of disapproval or condemnation.
Practice tolerance and accommodation; a lesson learned by some people never.

Harry Edward Gilleland      11.02.01    printer friendly