Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – Dali Lama
I’m at the car wash on a sunny afternoon. It’s packed, just chaos, and I’m blocking traffic because the lady in front of me won’t pull up. I try to get her attention and the car wash attendant does too but we’re unsuccessful. He tells me to go around her, to get out of traffic. I comply.
The lady finally notices and from her point of view, I cut the line. She gets out of her car. Ugh, do we really have to do this? I see her coming and roll down my window, ready. She starts in before I could speak.
Her: I hope whatever caused you to be in such a hurry is worth it.
I try to tell her what really happened but she walks away in a huff. Back in her car, she sees the empty space that we were trying to tell her about, duh. She pulls in. The attendant takes her order because, like me, he knows that she was first. She gets out of her car and rummages through the trunk. I’m pretty sure she’s avoiding me. I approach her anyway and I must have said my prayers that morning because what comes out of my mouth is not my typical response to confrontation. I am calm. My voice is conversational.
Me: The way you talked to me was uncalled for. I was following directions to get out of traffic. See, you went first.
She looks flustered and walks away.
Now I’m hot. I tried to be reasonable, to have a human connection instead of an argument and it didn’t matter; the result was the same. Humans suck.
I turn in my keys and walk around the block, SO MAD. I need to release steam. I run a couple of errands – the post office, CVS and Amazon Books -but I’m still SO MAD, I’m sweating. Guess who I almost collide with outside the bookstore? Her. We are face to face. I am tempted to brush past her, but I pause. She immediately starts.
Her: I am so sorry to pass my negative energy to you; I hope I didn’t upset you.
Me: You did and I am SO MAD that I had to take a walk.
I take a deep breath and soften my face.
Me: Are you a resident of this town?
Me: That wasn’t very neighborly.
Her: I’m about to cry.
Me: Perhaps let’s expect the best from people, not the worst. Let’s have good intentions and above all, BE KIND.
She really does shed a tear then. I touch her arm, smile and tell her to have a good day. I am surprised to find that I really mean it.
P.S. You can read more stories about humanity here.