Luckily, this didn’t happen. I was on a long, leisurely walk the other day…aaah. While strolling past a driveway in a sleepy cul-de-sac, I noticed a parked car. Then, suddenly, the vehicle suddenly lurched backward, in silence. I later noticed that the noiseless car was a Honda Accord, likely a hybrid one. With an Olympic leap, aided by my new springy sneakers, I successfully avoided a nasty contact with sheet metal.
Believe it or not, this recent incident is the second time in the last month or so where I was almost hit by a car while on foot.
But it’s what happened next that’s interesting. I continued walking, prepared to give this motorist an evil left blue eye. When she caught up to me, the passenger window was down and she yelled out – “I’m so sorry.” Instead of what I had planned for her, I shouted back over the Dirty Vegas tune blasting on my iPod – “No problem; it’s okay,” and I smiled. It was relief; a release of sorts.
And we both went on our merry ways; I forked to the right, she made a left. As I continued walking my brain started churning, overtaking the power of the music in my ears. It occurred to me that I had been too hasty with my initial reaction to this event. Lashing out is not a solution; it only fuels unnecessary fire. Thankfully, my response never took place. After all, it wasn’t as if she were deliberately trying to run me down; heck, we don’t even know each other!
But I thought about other times, in the past, where people automatically reacted to me in a vengeful way, or I them. And yes, this is perhaps stretching this particular situation, but it led me to thinking about how quick we are to process information and sum it up without taking the time to consider all the different alternatives. My little mishap is a reminder that we really have to slow down sometimes and understand a situation before we take any action about it. I’ll declare this little adventure a thought-provoker and nothing more. Good thing.