I did something today that I’m not so proud of.
A women told me her husband is in the hospital and I said, “Maybe you deserve it.”
I was pulling out of a parking space in front of a grocery store and this woman wanted to jam her minivan into the space next to mine.
While my car was still moving.
Not exactly very safe.
She made eye contact with me and gestured her plans with an impromptu set of hand signals.
I quickly calculated the variables of the situation and concluded that she, because she obviously didn’t learn the lesson in kindergarten, was going to have to wait her turn.
Like HAL in 2001, I read her lips as she looked on in disgusted disbelief.
She then, unmistakably, called me an asshole.
I creeped up next to her, came to a complete stop and rolled down my window.
I calmly asked, “Was this so important that you had to call me an asshole?”
She tried to defend herself but it was all subconscious code for, “My sense of entitlement dictates my thoughts and behavior.”
So I cut her off by saying, “Life is so fucking short and you had to call me an asshole because my car was still in motion when you wanted to park?”
And then hit me with this non-sequitur, “My husband is in the hospital.”
And that’s when I delivered the line, “Maybe you deserve it.”
I got halfway down the block and considered turning around to find her in the grocery store so I could apologize.
But, upon calculating the variables, I decided to keep driving. Because if she said anything piggish to me, at all, I’d be facing manslaughter charges for beating someone to death with a loaf of Ezekiel bread.
See, the thing is, I woke up on the wrong side of the world this morning.
Sometimes that just happens. You just wake up and things just annoy you, right?
I really tried to dwell on gratefulness when I caught myself feeling this way though. But then this happened. It’s really not the end of the world, but our lives are inhabited by mindless, greedy zombies and sometimes I’m just sick of it.
And I really can hate this woman as much as I hate bible thumping republicans or a decapitating terrorists. Because they’re all the same. It’s just a difference of degree.
But as I sit here in Starbucks, removed from the situation, the lens zooms out and I can see more of the picture. The thing is, I’m the same as well. It’s just a difference of degree.
And we’re all doing the best we can in the moment. The best is far from good enough if it hurts others, but it’s still the best.
So, as always, it’s up to people like you and I to remember that we’re all connected so we can be the rare ones to make the higher choices.
I just need to keep reminding myself that good prevails.