Friday, October 3, 2008

What Makes the World Go Round?

You know those commercials where people are doing good deeds for strangers? I think they're insurance commercials actually. Someone pulls someone else onto the sidewalk so they don't get hit by a bus, someone picks up something another person dropped to give back to them, someone catches a kid falling out of a tree - corny stuff like that. I love those commercials. They make me feel all warm and gooey inside. And I think it's true that good creates more good and kindness creates more kindness.

Unfortunately, it works the other way too.

A few weeks ago a pedestrian flipped me off! I was stopped at a red light, and I guess he thought I was going to run it and hit him? So he flipped me off. I got so upset because I wasn't even doing anything wrong or anything to merit such a reaction. Then I noticed what was happening. I was letting this jerk make me angry and turn me into a jerk. Who knows? Maybe a stranger just spilled coffee on him, and he was taking that negative and being negative to someone else. I decided to put a stop to it right there and think happy thoughts. I didn't want to let someone else's negativity have an influence on my mood or my life.

It's a hard thing to do to shrug off someone's insults, someone's snarky comment or the bird they just flipped at you. I care a lot about what people think about me. Too much really, but I think that's a problem a lot of people have and one that's okay because it's better to care too much than too little. I had to teach myself a hard but important lesson in the past few years. Someone else's opinion of me is not necessarily the truth. Just because some stranger got mad at me doesn't mean I should get mad at him or at all.

It also doesn't even mean that his insult was really meant for me. Maybe it was really about the guy who just spilled coffee on him or the girlfriend that just dumped him. Even when it feels like everything is about me, it really isn't.

The best way that I've found to combat such negativity is to do something good. I say a prayer for the person. I thank God for my many blessings and list them to remind myself of all the good that is in my life. And I try to do something nice for someone else. That way I'm taking the negative power out of the situation and turning it into a way to bring more good into the world. It's important to always use our powers for good not evil after all!


Little Sister Pixie said...

Funny you should mention being flipped off. Today I experienced my first flip-off! I was on the freeway going about 70 mph (the speed limit here is 65) when this young guy in an old, red truck starts tailgaiting me. I'm not going to give him the pleasure of moving out of his way, so I stayed in the fast lane. Well, finally he was growing tired of my speed, so he changed lanes & somehow managed to get right in front of me. I then mumbled the words "A**hole" to myself. Well, maybe he noticed my mouth moving because then I see his hand right through the window, flipping me off! I almost did the same thing to him, but I consider myself a lady & didn't want to stoop to his level.

However, I did say that "Karma's a bitch" because he then got behind 2other vehicles, who were also driving "slow" by his standards. Obviously he was in a hurry because then he swerved around & passed them both up. My #1 pet peeve: young and old male drivers.

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