Sunday, July 17, 2011

on being human.

even before hearing the sad news of my classmate's death, the thoughts i'm attempting to jot down in this post had been tumbling about in my head.  

last week, i was driving home on one of the more stressful roads in boston after running errands with meredith. people, as usual, were driving like crazy. a woman in front of me was obviously agitated with another driver and as she pulled over to pass the other driver she flipped them the bird. this did not sit well with me and it never does. 

we are such a hustle and bustle society. hurrying to get where we are going in our little metal speed machines. we are so consumed with where we are going that we don't stop to think about where others are going. or where they are coming from.

i think driving brings this out in people the most because we are protected by our glass windows and speedy rubber wheels. we can yell, and gesture, and roll our eyes, and curse, and be somehow, better than without having to truly interact. 

unless you get stuck at a redlight together. then it's really awkward.

but seriously? it saddens me the way we don't treat our fellow man as a fellow man. we're having a bad day so we yell at someone. but what if that someone lost her job today?  we're stressed out so we roll our eyes. but what if that person just found out his wife was cheating on him. we're tired so we make a smart ass remark, but what if that person is just trying to make ends meet for her little ones. or maybe you are having a really good day and you thoughtlessly flip the bird to someone else who is having equally wonderful day. how deflating for that person. 

and those people who treat badly? maybe they are having a bad day. i remember once this person swearing and gesturing wildly at me because i had forgotten to use my turn signal. i was telling my mom and said, "what if i had just found out someone died that day? how hurful of that person." my mom replied, "but what if they had just found out someone had died?" 

we just never know what other people are going through and it just doesn't hurt to be nice.

i don't know.  i'm not trying to judge because i certainly have called other drivers morons. i have rolled my eyes at people. i have shied away from "crazies."

i just think it's sad the way we are all humans and yet don't treat each other that way. like everyone's feelings matter. like everyone is going through their own sort of struggles, however big or small. we just aren't nice a lot of the time.

so at the end of this, i'd just ask you to think about this as you go about your day interacting with lots of people just like you. smile. say hello. count to 10. walk away. slow down and let the person pass you. 

everyone you meet is a daughter, son, husband, wife, sister, brother, friend, person. treat them as such. as you would want your daughter, son, husband, wife, sister, brother, friend, person treated.


Adrienne said...

amen. and i will try MY best to be kind.

colleen said...

i really love this post, and try to remind myself this all the time when i get irritated with people in the city, or they snap at me. there's always something or someone to get frustrated with in new york, and i try to remind myself that i have no idea what's going on in their lives. it think it helps me try to treat people better, at least i hope it does. wonderful post - this isn't said enough.

Katielicht said...

wonderful heartfelt post. my parents taught me to act like this and I think it was one of the best things I've learned in life, and something I really hope I can pass on to my own children. it's not easy but it really is worth it.

Kristin W said...

I'm not even kidding, this post has resonated with me for weeks now (sorry, I'm obviously just now getting to commenting on posts!). In a sense, it reminds me of the book, The Happiness Project. Not getting stressed about small things...slow drivers, no blinkers, waiting in that long line behind someone continually questioning...takes away some of our happiness. It allows us to not live in and enjoy the moment (although essentially not what your post was about). Just slowing down helps to not get so frustrated at others.

Again, thank you for the well-worded post. I honestly have kept it in my mind as much as possible recently.

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