We are selfish beings. Yes, we do have the capability to be generous, kind and thoughtful towards our fellow man, but truth be told, some of us have to work a little harder to fight against those selfish tendencies and some of us just plain fail!!
My husband and I have a Sunday morning ritual; every week on our way to church we stop for coffee. Well, he gets coffee; I get a chai latte since I’m not grown up enough just yet to appreciate coffee. We enjoy this routine; it brings us comfort, or it did until today.
The drive-through and parking at our coffee shop leaves much to be desired, it is tight and cramped. If the drive through line is long, patrons exiting the establishment cannot get out of the parking lot.
This morning a fifteen-passenger van turned in ahead of us. I should have known there was going to be trouble when the driver took the entry turn too tight, and jumped the curb. Next he turned slightly left which put him in the drive through lane. Then he just stopped.
My husband was directly behind the van patiently waiting to pull into the drive-through lane only he couldn’t because the van was stopped. Realizing quickly that the (insert choice words running through my mind unrestrained) was attempting to BACK INTO A PARKING SPOT rather than drive through my husband had to back up to give him room to do so.
We backed up just enough to allow the van room to navigate and then BOOM! Someone hit us. My husband jumped out immediately to see what had happened. Two young college girls who were leaving had started backing out, failed to see our stopped truck and hit our rear bumper.
Our truck was not damaged, the other car was, but my husband’s primary concern was with the two girls, were they all right? The two girls were noticeably shaken but unhurt.
What upset me the most was that the driver of the van, whose actions ultimately caused the fender bender, never even looked our direction. He never stopped to ask if everyone was alright, he never stopped to offer assistance, he didn’t walk over and apologize for trying to navigate his (insert more choice words here!) too big vehicle into a very tight space when someone else was directly behind him, nothing.
That man just hopped out, grabbed his wife, crossed in front of us and walked into the coffee shop like a horse with blinders on, completely unaware of the consequences of his actions.
I recently saw a meme on Pinterest that said, “Even the nicest people have their limits. Don’t try to reach that point because the nicest people are also the scariest people when they’ve had enough.” That would be me! Generally, I am nice, but in that moment I wanted to jump out of the truck, grab that man, shake him, punch him in the face and yell at him for being stupid & selfish.
Was that particular parking space really worth what his actions caused? There are four people who would definitely say, “NO!” Why didn’t he pull in rather than trying to back up with other drivers right behind him? Why didn’t he just go through the drive through, come around and then park if they wanted to be inside? Why didn’t he choose one of the roomier spaces further from the door and drive through lane?
And, why didn’t I act on my instincts? Well, because I am fully aware there are consequences to my actions. He was bigger than me and might have punched me back and messed up my face. Or, he could have had me arrested for assault and then my husband would have had to explain to our congregation why I wasn’t in Sunday service.
We aren’t alone in the world, what we do, or don’t do for that matter, impacts our fellow man. Some of us would like to sail through life thinking we can do whatever we like without thought for others, but that perspective is dangerous. Me, I would much rather inconvenience myself than to cause someone else pain, be a disruption to their time, or any other unpleasant malady.
Certainly we are not perfect creatures. We get busy, we get tunnel vision and we forget that others may be subject to the consequences of our actions. All I am suggesting is that we put forth a little more effort and think before we act.
Until Next Time,
Becky J Miller