I have been ill and in a lot of pain for quite some time. So my trips away from home have been few and far between, mostly to the doctor's office. Two weeks ago I decided to go to the local market for some fresh produce. As I backed out of my driveway, I asked aloud in the car, "Please help me to show kindness to others today." It was heartfelt and I was eagerly looking for ways I could be kind, for example by letting people into my lane.
I drove to the market, and as I drove up, I saw an elderly man get his wife settled into their car, and then go around the car to the driver's side. They were in a handicapped parking spot, and as I have a handicapped plate, I waited for that close spot. It would mean all the difference in being able to walk into the store, or not. Once inside, I could use their electric cart. But if I had to walk from the farther away parking spots, it would be impossible for me to make the distance without falling. So, patiently I waited.
And I waited and waited and waited, by now not so patiently. Cars pulling up behind me honked their horns, even though I waved them around, even though I had my light blinking to indicate I was waiting for that spot. Finally, after waiting a full THREE MINUTES, I see this man pick up his cellphone and make a call. TWO MORE minutes went by before he closed his phone. My patience had reached its point of no return. "Will you just move your car?!?!" I yelled at the top of my lungs inside the confines of my car. Thankfully, the windows were up and he didn't hear me. It was another minute before his car's reverse lights came on. By the time I got into the spot, I was ready to kill. And then it hit me. HE was my opportunity to be kind that day, and I blew it, BIG TIME. Kindness isn't always face-to-face, it's sometimes energetically or psychically accomplished.
So, in an effort to reverse the negative energy I had felt for him, I sat in the electric cart for a moment with my eyes closed, and sent him all the loving energy I could muster at that point. I sent him a prayer for his safety and that of his wife on their way home, and I acknowledged his wisdom at making the phone call while he was parked and not while he was driving. I prayed for the safety of himself and his wife, and for the safety of others on the road, and I thanked him for that loving gesture. It totally turned around how I felt about him, and changed my whole day, too.
Sometimes I just have to learn a lesson another way. My unheard rant harmed me, not him, and in his consideration of not driving while talking, HE was showing kindness to untold hundreds of people, while I showed none, in spite of my very vocal and heartfelt initial intention. I will always be grateful to him for the lesson he taught me that day.
-- Author Unknown