Friday, November 20, 2015

Been there, done that. But not on purpose?

Have you been in a situation where you were walking on the road, maneuvering almost, through the potholes and puddles and out of nowhere comes a speeding car that very nonchalantly splashes you down?

Awful right? I have been there many times and trust me you want to take the first big stone you see and throw it at the car hoping to break something, as you spurt out all the cuss words from the darkest pages of your vocabulary while simultaneously wanting to cry loudly.

Yeah... but last week, I was the person driving that speeding car. 

And it wasn’t nonchalant. Or on purpose. I was not in a bad mood or being rude. It happened before I knew it. I was running late to pick my daughter from school. It was a sunny day but there were puddles from the previous night’s rains. And I, in my car, my full air-conditioned, sound-proof, dust-proof, music filled cozy cocoon did not realize it until I was hitting the puddle in high speed, splashing a guy who was getting off his bike and God forgive me, was wearing white. The horror on his face, his hand rising with the intensity of the cuss word that he mouthed and then it hit me hard. No, thankfully not a big stone. But the fact that, in this cycle of life, each of us can become the bad guy, without intending to. 

I slowed, gestured and mouthed and a weak apology but his hurt was deeper and his angry face obviously showed no change, he was wearing white, remember? So I kept driving. I felt awful. I have to accept I was inconsiderate. And it hurt me to realise that. No one wants to be inconsiderate on purpose, I’m sure. 

This also reminds me of another incident that happened a few days ago where a mother and teenage daughter was walking down a road (again filled with puddles). The girl was dressed in her uniform that included a white skirt, white socks and white canvas shoes. This time, I was determined to be considerate. I was behind them and I slowed down without honking so they could just pass through in peace. A huge black car came honking urgently from the opposite side almost startling them. And the girl just felt she HAD to make way for the car and the only way she could was by stepping into the puddle and walking through it. My heart sank. Here is a girl who is all primped up for school and she has just the same right as the person in a big luxury car to reach her destination in a dignified manner. 

Again, maybe the driver in the black car was preoccupied then and realized and regretted it later. Maybe he did not even see the girl getting her shoes wet and so it’s like nothing happened. But for the girl, I'm guessing she had to sit through the whole day in a pair of wet shoes and socks. 

For me, it had me thinking. And again resolving to try and remember to be more considerate.

Many times we find ourselves being the takers in a hard situation and we jump to judgement and reproach and yes sometimes we're fully justified in throwing that stone.But there are also times when the roles reverse and we become the reason for an unpleasant situation. Lets use those situations to become more aware that as humans we err and resolve to be more empathetic.


1 comment:

  1. Thinking of others has become a bit of a dying art in this world of ours. We are all in such a rush and juggling so many things that others can be the unwitting casualties. Remembering how awful you felt will help you to be more forgiving next time you are the victim of someone else's carelessness :) Leanne @ cresting the hill