Today was the first day I was really crabby after my accident. It was also the first day I was really angry. Angry not just at the guy who caused the accident, but kind of mad at the world. The whole day it happened, and even the day after that, I wasn’t even remotely angry at the guy who hit me. We’ve all done stupid stuff when driving and I’m pretty sure a lot of us have done something that’s illegal when we’re driving too because we were in a hurry or whatever. We live in a culture that’s rush rush rush. We never stop to really think about things or even enjoy things, we just kind of go. Time is always this thing that eludes us and is scarce.
It’s funny to me though that I didn’t really get mad until today. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is when people do careless things or things without thinking about other people. When neighbors have loud parties all hours of the night (in my neighborhood, there’s a house that does this every single night), when people cut across three lanes of traffic because they realize they need to turn right on a street, when people just do things that affect or hurt others and they seem to not even think about it…this drives me absolutely insane. I’m not perfect by any means but I try really hard to always act compassionately and not do…for a lack of a better way of putting it….stupid shit to other people just because I need to be somewhere or do something. So that probably makes me even less understanding. I wouldn’t do it so I don’t understand how someone else could.
When I read The Art of Happiness, it really taught me how to be compassionate towards other people no matter what they might do. To remember everyone is going through something and keep in mind that you never know why that person might be having a loud party or cutting across those 3 lanes of traffic. To have compassion even when the other person might not even deserve it. Obviously we still shouldn’t be putting other people’s lives in danger no matter what might be going on with us but I think it was a great lesson for me.
Now I’m being tested…really tested. The guy that hit me did put my life in danger. He made a decision without thinking about how it would affect other people and myself and my car got in the way. I can only hope that what happened was a wake-up call for him. That that one time you’re in a hurry or decide to make an illegal left hand turn in front of people, it could have serious consequences. Trying to make something easier for yourself could make things harder for someone else.
At the end of the day, I can’t control other people. I can’t control whether or not this guy is going to learn from what he did and if he’ll drive accordingly in the future. I can’t control whether or not other people do careless stuff or live only for themselves, not thinking about how it might affect others. But what I can do is control how I feel. I can control how I choose to go forward in life. I might be mad today but I make the choice not to be mad at the guy who hit me, even if it does turn out he doesn’t have insurance and I have to go through a lot of hassle to get my settlement and claim taken care of. Even if it turns out that for the second time in my life, the police let an uninsured drive go and didn’t cite them. I will not live my life in fear and I will not live it in anger. I’m very lucky I survived the accident I was in and wasn’t hurt worse.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Philomena but if you want a true lesson in forgiveness, you should see it and read her amazing story. I won’t ruin it just in case you haven’t seen it and are planning to, but she was put through hell and had one of the most terrible things happen to her by women who were supposed to be holy. Yet she still forgave them. She didn’t hold any anger in her heart. It’s one of the most inspiring stories I’ve ever heard. So if she can do that, then I certainly can forgive someone who wronged me. It may not always be easy but life is short and I don’t want to spend the rest of mine holding grudges. I want to spend it being happy and being around the people I love.