My morning lesson

Almost every morning when I am driving to work I hit some traffic on the little road that is the only way to get on and off the peninsula that I live on. Sometimes it’s just a little bit of traffic. Sometimes it’s backed up for nearly a mile. Ugh, those mile days are the worst. Those are usually the days that I’m already running late and have been stuck behind a school bus that stops every 10 feet to pick up kids.

Anyway while I am sitting in said traffic, there is a road that comes out about a quarter mile or less from the stop light where the backup of cars begins. I always feel so bad for the people that live down that side road when they are trying to make the turn onto the main road with all the traffic. Basically they are at the mercy of the already disgruntled drivers that have been sitting in this stop and go traffic for a mile. Will they sacrifice their spot in line and let one of the poor people trying to turn go in front of them? As much as I would like to say that I always let one of the turning people in, I don’t. There has been numerous times where I stayed as close as possible to the bumper of the car in front of me. Sure, letting that person in front of me would probably change my drive time by only a couple of seconds, but I was late for work, way to late to be nice.

For the past few weeks though I have made it a point to always stop and let at least one car go ahead in front of me at this great test of morality that I come across most mornings. And you know what I’ve found. Letting people out makes me morning much better. Every time I let one of those poor people waiting go in front of me they look back and forth at the road, and when they see the little motion of my hand or flash of my headlights their face lights up for second and they give me wave of gratitude as the accept my offer to go ahead.

Every time this happens, I smile. It’s like for a second I’m no longer late for work or disenchanted with the boring job that I am about to drive to. Everything just feels right in the world. The simplest act of kindness and gratitude has so much power, it just astounds me. Imagine what things would be like if I made a conscous effort to do what I could to help others out all the time, throughout the day. I would probably be a much happier person. It goes against everything in our nature as humans. We try to get as much as we can for ourselves to be happy, but most of the time we find true happiness when we put our own desires at bay and help others.

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~ by twentyfivetolife on March 19, 2009.

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