Returning from my morning walk, I saw my friend pacing near her car. As I crossed the street, I saw the reason for her distress: the vehicle was sandwiched between two others. The car in front was badly parked, and there was no way for her to manoeuvre out.
Agitated, because she was late for work and forced to take leave for half the day, she had called the police and was waiting for them to arrive. Just then, the teenage owner of the car in question came. My friend pointed out that her car was gridlocked because of his parking mistake, but the guy rudely dismissed her and zoomed off.
His behaviour was the last straw, and when the police arrived, all my friend wanted to do was press charges. She appraised the officers of the situation and said that she has photographs of the young man, his car and the number plate, reiterating her desire to press charges. Both officers listened to her patiently and then politely explained that this would come under Parking Violation and they could connect her to the concerned dept. My friend, however, was too upset to listen to any suggestion and remained adamant. Instead of dismissing the whole issue as not being part of their duty, the two officers spent the next half hour, listening patiently and giving her their complete attention. All this while, their radios buzzed constantly. Slowly and deftly, they diverted the conversation and soon, before we realised, we all were laughing about the antics of teenagers. My friend calmed down and decided to forgive the young man, and take the advice of the two officers.
Whether it was their training or their behaviour that day, those two officers taught me the kindness that lies in patient listening.
Sometimes listening is the answer.