Why it’s always best to not to think the worst

This post has been kicking around in my head for a few weeks now. In fact, ever since some motorists yelled at me. Let me explain.

My wife and I sometimes meet up with our son for lunch in a town not far from where we live. The pub is, unfortunately, in an old part of the town and you can only access it by driving down a single narrow street. I’m usually in luck in that I can find a disabled parking space near the pub entrance. We need this because my wife is disabled and, on her worst days, she can only walk a few steps so I need to get as near the entrance as possible. On this particular day, the disabled bays were full as were all the loading bays. There was nowhere to pull over. So, as we hadn’t seen our son for a while and didn’t want to go home, I stopped to let my wife get out with the plan that I would drive off and park in a nearby car park.

We were stopped for no longer than a minute and a half and, in that time, I was passed by three cars. They had to go up the opposite pavement and still came with a millimeter of my car mirror. All three shouted and made disparaging gestures at me, with one quite wildly intimating that I only had sex with my hand.

They all obviously came to the swift conclusion that I was an idiot whose only role in life was to annoy them. Now, why would they jump to that conclusion and so quickly too? Yet, I quickly came to the realisation that I have had these same thoughts myself but, of course, I have never been so rude as to voice them.

You know who I’m talking about; that person who drives slowly or who dithers on the road and obviously doesn’t know what they’re doing, who can never find their card when they reach the check out at the supermarket (and who always has 11 items in a 10 item line), who goes straight to the head of a queue to everyone’s displeasure and who always gets in your way when you’re in a hurry.

You know exactly who I mean, the idiots, the ditherers, those who have no respect for others.

Yet, if I said that –

The person who was dithering on the road was looking for a lost child

The person who is having trouble at the check out has Multiple Sclerosis and is having a bad day

The person who jumps the queue does so because of an medical emergency…

…then you would think quite badly of yourself for having those negative thoughts, wouldn’t you?

So, whenever anyone does anything that I used to find annoying, I now think that there might be a good reason for them doing so. The thing that has surprised me the most is that I am now no longer annoyed or angered by such behaviour and, because of this, I end up having a much more peaceful day.

Of course, some of the people doing annoying things might be doing it on purpose but, if that is the case, then they no longer have any power over me.

So, don’t ever think the worst of other people. Believe me, you will feel a lot better for doing so.

(Thanks to Tumisu for the photo)

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