How We Defeat Ourselves

 As I was waiting in a chair at a large computer store while Carol was being helped with her computer, I observed the following scene.

Three computer experts were behind the counter, helping customers with their computers. A young man arrived and patiently stood at the check-in sign. Shortly afterward, another young man arrived, and in a bullish manner went past the other young man to the last computer expert in the row, although he was still helping a customer. The first young man was still waiting patiently at the check-in spot. He had not made any attempt to remind the bullish man of his place in the line. After still another while, in which none of the experts had become available, the young man decided to leave, and walk into the back aisles of the store, perhaps to look for something else he needed. Just a few seconds after he had turned his back, one of the experts became available, and was looking for the next customer to help. I signaled that I did not need help, and was waiting for my friend. I then saw him remaining idle, with nothing to do. For a brief moment, I thought I could tell him that there was this young man who had been waiting for so long, and that he might be called back, as I still saw him walking to the back of the store in his yellow shirt. But then something told me not to interfere. I thought how amazing the whole experience was: He had walked away just a few seconds before his window of opportunity opened.

As I was telling Carol about this experience, she suggested that the young man was probably under a spell. We asked the Sage, and found that this was true. The spell was, “I am a nobody.”

By Hanna Moog