I left the house this morning in sweats, and a baseball cap hoping to make it to Costco before it got crowded. As I turned the corner onto a main street along the way, a truck came barreling up behind me. The driver got angry, swerved into the lane to the left of me, and then....just about took off the front end of my car while swerving back in front of me. I have to admit, it pissed me off. I was irritated, and shaken by the aggression that was shown. I moved over a lane, and as I came to a stop at the light, the truck started backing up, I rolled my window down, and so did he. "What did you say bitch?" is what came out of his mouth, I had said nothing yet. But my adrenaline was pumping, and I said, "You need to get a grip".
I was not prepared for what happened next. He screamed at me. And screamed at me. And called me names. And called me more names based on judgements he made about me. And as this was unfolding, I said quietly to myself - oh. I get it now. In that moment I felt so much compassion for him. All I could see was his anger. His face all twisted up and red. His rage. And I knew that it could not possibly be directed at me. This was something deeper. Luckily, the light changed. He got in front of me, and slowed way down, and flailed his arms, and looked like he was still screaming. I stayed back as far as I could, until he sped away. And I shook for about an hour afterward.
I haven't been able to stop thinking about him all day. I've been wondering what must be going on in his life to make him act out that way. I have been sending loving thoughts, and peaceful energy his way. One of the things that I wished I would've done differently is to not engage him. To not have rolled down my window, and said anything. As I write those words, I also can't help but wonder if I was supposed to have that interaction...maybe he needed a little good energy sent his way today.
We never know what is going on with someone. And it's so easy to get caught up in emotions. To call names, and to judge people. We are all people. Flesh. Bones. Hearts. Souls. What if we could just remember that all people are more alike than different? Remember that we all have things going on in our lives. What if we could separate from political ideals, from skin color, from gender, from sexual orientation, from social class, from religious beliefs? And just remember that we all have our own shit. Our own happinesses. Our own heartbreaks. Our own challenges. Our own victories. Our own defeats. And remember that the only thing that really matters is love for one another. Love for another human being, no matter what.
I wasn't going to be able to sleep tonight until I wrote about this. I have to say thank you to this man, this human being. For making me feel today. And for making me think. And for giving me the opportunity to love.