I got into a traffic problem the other day. I didn’t initially cause the traffic problem, that was caused by someone breaking really early to turn right off a highway and a guy going really too fast and following too close behind me as I followed “early breaker”. I think that paints a nice picture of what happened, but then, and this is the bad part, I added to “mr. driving too fast, following too close’s” day. What I did was take my time getting back up to speed when I knew he couldn’t pass. This is not good. I am not happy with myself.
You see, it is easy to self-justify. It is easy to say, well that guy had it coming almost plowing into by rear bumper because he was too close and driving too fast, but the truth is, I was being stupid and petty. I hate that I am like that sometimes, but it is sadly true. I added to this man’s bad day by being a jerk myself. I don’t know what might have been going on in his life, perhaps he was rushing to the hospital because his child was sick, perhaps he was late for an crucial meeting where he might get fired if he was late, perhaps he was just a follow too close, drive too fast, jerk.
The point is, for me, I want to hold myself to a higher standard than that. I don’t want to be the guy that made someone else’s day worse. I want to be the guy who made someone else’s day better. I don’t think I am that guy though. At best I am a made someone else’s day exactly the same as before kind of guy. Ever meet someone who just made you smile, who made your day better? Maybe they didn’t even do anything earth shattering, but yet your mood was lifted. Oh, I long to be that kind of person, but I don’t think I am. I think that I could be if I was just a little more attentive to others’ moods, to other people’s feelings, less attentive to myself perhaps.
I think the world would be better, if we all did that. If we all just paid a little more attention and concern for the other people we encounter, even when we are surrounded by 3200 pounds of car or 8500 pounds of truck, but especially when we are surrounded by nothing more than our own air of insecurity and self-centeredness (side note…apparently self-centeredness isn’t a word…who knew). The fact that I didn’t have a great night’s sleep is no excuse to treat others poorly, it just isn’t. Why make my problems someone else’s problems? this seems like it should be common sense, but it isn’t.
Life is about this stuff, it is about being kind to others, it is about not puffing up yourself above others whether warranted or not. Seriously, I am not better than other people, I just am not. My problems are not more important than theirs. I think the time has come for me to be an adult and show some care and concern for other people, instead of focusing on myself all the time.Don’t get me wrong, I am still wearing a t-shirt and flip flops at work, I’m not growing up that much. I am just going to try to make my little , teensy (side note, I gues teensy isn’t a word either) corner of the globe slightly better by being nicer to the people I meet…. starting tomorrow! Just kidding, starting today, starting now in fact. Join me, won’t you?