After I dropped off the kids at school this morning, I went to the store to pick up a few things. Got finished up and as I was waiting to pull out into traffic, a man was crossing the busy road in front of me (you know, I thought it'd be best to let him get at least get across my lane before running him over). Then I saw the opportunity to pull out. There was another mini van coming a good distance back from the other lane that had to slow down for the guy to cross the street but instead of slowing down, sped up and proceeded to nearly take me and the guy out. She was pissed because she had to slow down, when just up ahead anyway was a stop light. She's speeding by at about 60 mph, only to have to slam on her brakes anyway before hitting the traffic at the light. But yet somehow I did something to really piss her off, so she's gesturing nasty things to me.
I looked at her in disbelief that she got so worked up over something so stupid. I mean, she's making punching motions at me and everything! Would she do that if she was standing in front of me with no metal or glass separating us? Probably not.
As I watched her carry on, I could feel my blood pressure rise and I thought of all the different ways I could respond. Instead, I decided to just (in the kindest way I could muster) gesture to her to calm down, and left it at that.
She's older than me - she should know better. And, she's driving a mini van. Does she have a child in the car while she's gesturing and saying all those nasty things? Is she so worked up that she'll end up in an accident because she's so bent out of shape? And again, would she do that if she was standing in front of me?
I've been making a real concerted effort to have more control over my reactions to people and events, and this morning, I was pretty proud of myself for not flipping her the bird and actually wishing her well instead of harm.
I've got a little decorative piece of paper in the bathroom by the mirror (so I see it every day) that says, "Be the change you want to see in the world" by Mahatma Ghandi, and I'm really trying to live by it. It ain't easy.