Pressing the button

There are about three people waiting when I get to the elevator door. The ever-present mother with a stroller and a suspicious baby, a Rabi and an African guy with a huge duffel bag. I go to press the button but I hold myself back. I always hate people who push the button when it is obvious it has already been pushed by all the other patient commuters, who obviously were not raised by wolves like me. They trust their fellow commuter to have done the simple job of pressing the button.
After feeling so proud about my deduction, holding back on my primeval urge and behaving like t eehe civilized, literate and zen woman i am, the elevator still has not arrived. It is not unusual for it it be delayed, but there is no sign of movement either. I start towards the button once more but catch myself, i am zen, i am civilized. my fellow commuters draw breaths too. They approve.
Another person arrives, extends his hand towards the button, sees our faces and puts it back close to his body. He trusts us too. The button is not lighted but we know it is pressed. Civility is assured.b
Then another person comes. This one is oblivious to everything around him. He presses the button. The button lights up, the gears whirr, the cables slither and the elevator opens its doors.
We all file in after him and i start the day with a new parable:
No matter how civilized, always press the button.


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