Be a better, not bitter, thinker

Driving home, I was surprised to see a huge empty lot with an under-construction sign. As I slowed momentarily for my brain to quickly picture what used to be there, a white car zoomed up on my left using the left-turn lane to get ahead of me. It really annoyed me. The car maneuvered in and out of lanes, ending up two cars ahead of me at the next red light. Ha! I thought to myself. Look at what your potentially dangerous driving did for you. You’re just two cars ahead. Happy?
I was surprised at how annoyed I was at that driver in such a big rush. I thought about who might be driving that new white Tesla and what they’re like as a person, speeding to get to who knows where. It wasn’t a good picture.
Then I thought… maybe it’s a doctor rushing to the hospital for a patient. Maybe the driver just got a call that a loved one had a serious accident at home. Maybe… who knows what’s causing this person to drive as if their goal is more important than everyone else’s.
Viewing the situation with concern for the driver shifted my thinking. Instead of dwelling on bitter annoyance, I pictured her/him/them not being a bad person but stressed and burdened by something. I said a quick prayer for their safety getting to their destination.

Almost immediately, my internal tension subsided. It was so evident and such a surprise, it made me chuckle at what I’d just experienced. Flipping my thinking about this stranger had shifted my attitude, and that relieved the tension and anger I was feeling.
We’re going through challenging, stressful times. In some places, there’s tension in the air and people are feeling it, harboring it, expressing it in different ways. We don’t know all that’s going on with them that’s brought them to what they’re thinking and doing now.

The fact is… we can’t change others. We can only change the way we respond or react to them. I encourage you to find a way to release any bitterness, anger you’re feeling. Flip your thoughts about that someone or something that aggravates you and view the situation from different perspectives. See what that does.
Let’s all work on being better, not bitter, thinkers.

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