I was running late to meet a friend at her house so we could drive together to some event. Her neighborhood has several speed bumps, and I had the misfortune of being behind someone who was taking each bump at 1 mph. I’ve never claimed to be patient. I will claim to always be cutting it fine when it comes to being somewhere on time. So this added slow-down was extra frustrating.
The car in front of me, probably sensing my irritation, (I suppose I was following too closely) eventually pulled over so I could drive past. I shot a glance at the driver, a dude in his 30s or 40s.
I told my friend about it, when I eventually made it to her house. “Wasn’t that so weird and annoying?” I asked her.
“He was probably delivering a cake,” she said.
Just like that, my indignation was brought up short. “You think?”
“My mom made and delivered cakes. Sometimes I’d go with her and she always had to be extra cautious over speed bumps.”
And so what a jerk I was, being irritated by some guy who gave me a look as I passed that basically said, “Could you just ease up already?”
Maybe he wasn’t delivering a cake, (then again, maybe he was) but regardless, he undoubtedly had good reason for driving so slowly. Maybe a sick kid in the back?
My friend’s statement made me realize how much easier it is to understand people’s actions, and forgive them, when you’ve been in their position too.
But even if you don’t “get it” from your own personal experience, it’s always best to be patient and kind. You never know what people are dealing with.