Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting hit by a car hurts.

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.


Nancy said...

A happy ending to this story. The driver was very likely shaken when she saw you and realized what could have happened. How great that no harm was done either physically or verbally. This is also a cautionary tale for drivers backing out of your drive: remember you have to cross the sidewalk!

K/R said...

Your story reminded me of an incident that happened to me some years back. I was making a turn against on coming traffic, and I tried to make a quick judgment, should I go or not? I lurched, and then stopped instead because I realized I couldn't make it. The car coming toward me had to break and I expected him to flip me off or yell some profanities at me. He didn't do that, he smiled and made the shame, shame gesture with his fingers. I smiled back, and felt wonderful about this super nice person.

Maxine Cook said...

Gerry....How much this illustrates that we are all living our lives with our finger on the "button", (i.e., trigger of a gun, panic button, jumping to conclusions, cold war, nukes! Yikes!!!...on/and/on!). We are so quick to anger and take offense, which can be instantly deadly in our 'knee-jerk reaction' society. Good (and thoughtful) post! XO - Max

Gerry said...

Wow! Thanks for all the nice comments. Yes Maxine, many people just instantly "react" in a negative way when they really should slow down and see the goodness instead.