I was driving along when I suddenly noticed a car in the distance behind me, that resembled an unmarked police car. Naturally, I slowed down drastically, suddenly becoming very aware of yellow lights, speed limit signs and began using my “blinker” while changing lanes…. (impressive I know). Five miles, ten miles….TWENTY miles later, the “police car” lagged behind me. I found myself becoming annoyed with the situation. But why? The officer was merely doing his job, so why was I frustrated that he was behind me? Was it because his presence was forcing me to do what I should have been doing all along? Finally, I arrived at my destination.
Wal-mart. Now you know when you are needing to go to Wal-Mart, it is imperative that I zoom faster on the highway, hoping to beat the competition there to secure the necessary, vital staples of any home???. Where else can you buy underwear, Cheerios, potted plants and a vinyl shed all in one spot???? My point exactly. That’s why I was in such a hurry……Anyway…………..
After stuffing my car with 5 little plastic bags, and pondering how $ 287.13 worth of stuff could fit into such tiny bags, I headed back out on the highway.
About ten minutes into the drive, I noticed the same car pulled off to the shoulder of the highway with the hazard lights flashing. Seated in the passenger seat…..was a white-haired lady. I drove past only to find myself looking for a safe place to turn back around to check on her.
I pulled in behind her, carefully approaching the driver door, not wanting to startle her. She seemed relieved to see me. She explained how her car was “getting along fine” until it went “kaput”. We chatted while she waited for the tow truck. She was such a sweet lady, beaming with pride as she told me about her great-grandchild…..
As I stood there listening to her stories, I thought about how I had misjudged the “police car” that had paced me for over 20 miles, causing me to become annoyed and angry. I think we all misjudge many situations in life. We jump to conclusions. We become aggravated on the highway when stuck behind a slower moving car, not considering it is being driven by an elderly person, with slower reaction time. We become annoyed with the elderly shopper in front of us at the check-out; slowly counting out money;carefully laying each bill in the clerks hand, counting it again. WE don’t consider that her vision is impaired causing her to not be able to identify each dollar bill clearly. We become frustrated walking in the mall, being held up by an old man pushing his wife in a wheelchair; navigating the crowds slowly. We don’t realize this may their last outing due to her deteriorating health. We become impatient when the dementia patient tells, re-tells, tells again, the same story over and over and over again. We don’t understand that the story is the only story of his entire life that he remembers……..
The moral of this story……not everything is…..as it seems.