I did something today that I don’t often do with strangers who offend me. I do it easily for the people I know and love. But I’ve never really done it for someone I don’t know. It really made me think and made me want to change my ways. I’ll get to it, but let me first share what happened to me around noon today.
Unfortunately, I had an encounter with … let’s call her … ROAD RAGE LADY. For the record, I use the term “lady” VERY loosely. Typically when I have these types of interactions I BRIEFLY wonder what gets people to THAT level of enragement. Then I move on with my happy life.
Anyway, about 20 minutes later I had a lovely interaction with a young woman who was my cashier at a local department store. She said that she liked the pattern of the SIXTEEN Christmas cookie plates I was purchasing. I figured that she probably thought it was a little nutty to be buying so many cookie plates, HA! So I explained.
A few years ago I started a tradition with Reese’s teachers, aides and therapists. Every Christmas I give them a new Christmas cookie plate and other treats. After explaining, this young woman immediately said that she loved our tradition. She then shared with me that her nephew was born very prematurely and has many therapists as well. She said that she and her sister were trying to brainstorm Christmas present ideas for her nephew’s therapists. She said that she was excited to share our tradition with her sister and thought that it might be something that she would want to start too. This sweet woman thanked me profusely and then we wished each other well. I left the store with a smile on my face … and then I remembered ROAD RAGE LADY.
And I actually felt badly for her.
Just 20 minutes after experiencing her anger (screaming, honking and fists slamming against her steering wheel) I was blessed by a woman who freely shared her life with me. We connected, albeit briefly, because of two very special children and a village of therapists and helpers who are appreciated beyond measure. I was reminded, in that moment, that my life is filled with an abundance of good souls. And I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
It took me a while to process the good and the bad that had just rapidly entered my life. I thought about the balance of all of it and it made me laugh. Life can be so weird sometimes. And then, I found myself moved to pray for ROAD RAGE LADY. I didn’t just go on with my happy life this time. I thought about her and her fury. And then I prayed that she be blessed with an abundance of good souls in her life too. After all … we are all human.
Well, I hope you all have a day where you forgive someone who you don’t even know!!!