Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spread the Love

OmmmmOn Monday, Py Korry wrote a post on Hate, and I had commented about how my mother would remind me how powerful that word really is and to make sure I thought long and hard before I ever used it. So often we find it too easy to say we hate this vegetable, or that person's actions, or ultimately that race of people (ok, maybe that one isn't as easy for most, but frighteningly easy for some). Py's post stuck in my mind through the day.

After work, I had to drive down to San Mateo for some Halloween costume shopping, and then had to merrily head back up a crowded highway 101 (101 at rush hour, either way, is horrid). Traffic was actually moving along at a decent pace and everyone was spaced out. And then traffic slowed (as it always does), and I as I let off the gas and let my car come down to meet the new speed of traffic around me, I rolled up a little closer to the car in front of me. I didn't get close enough that I would say I was riding up on his bumper, but I was at least 15-20 ft away... a perfectly fine distance in my book for the speed we were going. The person in front of me turned on their dome light and very poignantly flipped me off. I was shocked. I felt a touch of anger in me that I did not like, and then felt guilty for upsetting this person. I adjusted my distance and speed and continued to ponder what just happened and why I felt such a strong feeling in my tummy.

I then really watched this person in front of me. They were totally tailing the person in front of them, and then started weaving in and out of traffic, tailing anyone they followed. Clearly this person was already agitated and just wanted to get wherever they were going.

While all of this driving, flipping off, observing business was going on, I was listening to a segment on NPR called "This I believe" where people tell a story about something they believe. The woman that was speaking during this week's segment was talking about how peace starts with one person being kind to another and then that person is more likely to be kind to another and so on (it spreads like syrup). Likewise, I feel that hate and hateful feelings do the same thing.

I continued to think about this phenomenon through my long drive home, and continued with a conversation with Eric. Sure we all have bad days, and bad thoughts and feelings happen, but if we can be more mindful and aware of how they effect others and our environment as a whole, there might be more motivation to be kinder to ourselves and those around us, whether we know then or not, then the love and peace might spread a little more easily.


Maya's Granny said...

Attitudes and feelings are contagious. Hate will spread like hot tar and love with spread like maple syrup.

J said...

Is it wrong of me that I kind of like the smell of hot tar? Is that like enjoying the smell of hate?

Great post, Miss Cherry. Let's get rid of the haters. ;)

Tracy said...

"The person in front of me turned on their dome light and very poignantly flipped me off. I was shocked. I felt a touch of anger in me that I did not like, and then felt guilty for upsetting this person."

I found it ironic that you felt guilty when the other person was clearly the jerk in this situation.

Tracy said...

Good post, by the way! Insensitive actions can really hurt, and acts of kindness can truly heal. :)

Py Korry said...

I'm a bad bloggy friend! I got so wrapped up in work stuff, that I didn't have time to read my favorite blogs!

I was thinking about what happened on the freeway, and it kind of reminds me of something that happened near my house yesterday. I was at a 4 way stop, and there were three of us at the intersection. The car opposite me started to pull forward, and so I did as well. The person to my left didn't like that fact that I went before he did, so he gunned it and tried to cut me off before I made it throught the intersection. I just kept going becasue if I had stopped, he would have hit me. I could see him in the rear view mirror getting very angry, but I didn't do anything. We got to the next stop sign (which was only a short distance from the other one), and I had to stop and wait for a person to cross the street. As I was waiting, I could see my, um, friend back there getting madder and madder. He was mouthing something to me and doing the "What!" thing thing with his hands. I was starting to get really angry because I really didn't think I was at fault, nor did I cut him off. I did think of flipping him off, but decided to play it cool and do nothing but drive on. I turned right and he turned left and that was that. I'll probably never see this person again, but the fact that one small action created all this drama (for both of us) made me think that there are quite a few of us out there that need a bit of anger management.

Gina said...

Amen, sista!