As I drive 15mph in a 35mph zone, behind a van struggling to keep it between the lines, I remained calm and realized I was able to change my sight and see this situation from a different perspective.
If I were in that situation one year ago, normally I would have raised blood pressure, yelled at the man driving, possibly flipped some inappropriate gestures and tried to take the shoulder or bike path to get around that individual.
Stuck putzing behind that old man, I envisioned his story. His wife is sick and he is taking her to the doctor. He doesn’t want to be driving either. His eye sight is poor. Public transportation isn’t available or affordable to him. Family members are not around to help drive them to their appointments. Asking friends or family for help would be burdening them. No one has taken the time to tell him he is a hazard to the road and can cause an accident.
In years to come, I could be this man. I began to feel sorry for him and tears filled my eyes. I thought about trying to follow him and be a good citizen and ask him how he thinks his driving is doing. But I didn’t. Should I have? Is it my place? What if he is crazy and lashes out at me?! But what if my actions to question him would cause him to drive more cautiously or hand over the keys, or even prevent an accident?
Everyone is struggling in some way or could use some improvement. No one is perfect. Take the time to see from another person’s perspective and you might be enlightened and learn something from their sight. I don’t think your time will be wasted. You may feel wiser, and if you have a temper, it may be a healthier way to react than to assume. You are in control of your behavior and your thoughts.
It may be quite a task to try and train your body and mind to react differently and see it from another perspective, but I’m happy I’m learning and caught myself in a situation when I was able to do so.
When have you shifted your sight to other perspectives?