An Idiot Like Me

I find myself judging people less harshly lately.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I find myself judging people just as harshly, but with the qualifier that I am the same kind of idiot I think they are. And if I am not an idiot in the exact moment they are, I have been, or will be again soon. So after I judge them and then empathize, THEN I am less harsh.

I find myself smiling at them or trying to help. Occasionally, I even say a prayer for them. We live in a touristy kind of place and the tourists are easy to spot. But, I have been a tourist and lost, confused, intimidated. So I try to be the friendly native.

Or when I see a mom lose it with her kids. I have been that mom. I took Gorgeous Gal to the circus when she was two. It was a mess. She didn’t like the circus, I spent money I didn’t have, there was a mean security guard…by the time we got to the car we were both sick of everything circus and each other. I buckled my adorable daughter in her seat, slammed the car door and cussed up a storm LOUDLY. Then I noticed another family staring at me. So, if I see a struggling mom now, I try to help if it seems like that would truly help or I try to get out of the way so she can regain her composure without me staring at her.

Here’s a good example from the other day of how this is going: I was going by someone’s house to pick up a sewing project (why I continue to torture myself with sewing is a whole other post and at least a few therapy sessions). I was driving the truck and took the corner too tight on the road. Then I had to pull over and wait for the car behind me to pass.

The car just sat there.

IDIOT! GO! I AM WAITING FOR YOU! MOVE!

Finally, they did and gave ME a dirty look.

Well, turns out that corner I took too tight dislodged several good sized rocks (a couple could be considered small boulders)  in the road and it probably took that driver a moment or two to call ME an idiot and figure out how to drive around the rocks without losing the axle on her car in the process.

The car drove off. I found another place to pull over and put the rocks back.

I drove away thinking how we both decided the other was an idiot, but it was all perfectly understandable and plausible. I haven’t driven the truck in a while and was on a very narrow unfamiliar road (the kind that sort of looks more like a hiking trail than a road for a full size truck).

And the other driver didn’t see me put the rocks back so she probably STILL thinks I am an idiot even though I realize now she is NOT one. I’m sure she’ll be relieved.

See how much better I am?