This I Believe

cathy - dallas, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that small acts can change the world. Once, as I was waiting to make a left hand turn into a parking lot, another driver called me a very bad name. He had failed to realize we were in a turning lane and was enraged by my decision to come to a complete stop while waiting to turn. This probably delayed his arrival by several seconds to somewhere, where, if this behavior was any indication of his personality, I am sure he would not be missed. I have heard news stories of people with “road rage” and I was angry … but also logical, I calmly followed him and when he stopped, explained that he had been in the wrong lane and that he should be ashamed of himself for his language. He immediately set about putting to shame his original source of shame with such a string of obscenities, had they not been aimed at me, I may have been impressed at his versatility in using one word in so many forms. Realizing that he was not going to see the error of his ways, I decided to cut my losses and leave while his attacks were still of just a verbal nature.

My hands were shaking after the incident and I had to pull over and calm down. I was so upset I thought I might cry and probably would have if even the slightest thing went wrong in the next couple of hours. Unfortunately, things like this tend to have a ripple effect. His anger could have spread through me then out to whomever I came in contact with, perhaps someone who only needed that last little push to put him over the edge, to do something tragic. I make a conscious effort not to let that happen. I want my ripple to be one of kindness. Have you ever seen that corny bumper sticker that says “commit random acts of kindness”? I have one. I believe that small acts can change the world.