Expressed by: Cassandra Dennis
Early one morning I approached a traffic light in Avondale Estates at about 6 am. I stopped at the red light as oncoming traffic with the right of way proceeded through the intersection. Once the intersection was clear, before I turned right, I looked both ways and made sure there was no sign that said, No Turn On Red. I saw a bus in the short distance and I was trying to see if the bus was going to make another stop or if I could make my turn before the bus proceeded through the intersection. While I was going through this process a car pulled up behind me and blew the horn. It startled me a little and I almost pulled out into the intersection. Instead, I looked in my rear view mirror and rolled my eyes. At that time another car pulled around the bus coming through the intersection and swerved into the lane I would have been in if I had allowed the impatience of the car behind me to invoke me to move against my better judgement. The car behind me wasn’t in a position to see the bus coming, and neither one of us saw the car behind the bus until it was in the intersection.
Sometimes life is just like that. We are evaluating what is the better decision based upon our view, timing, finances, and taking into consideration the risks to ourselves and possibly others. When someone else who does not have skin in the game, the same view as we do or who does not have all the information comes along and attempts to push their opinion or perspective upon us; not based upon any factual knowledge or even personal experience but only their opinion or feelings. If we disregard our own perspective and act out of fear or upon the ill advice of a random person, we sometimes place ourselves and others in situations that could have been avoided. If we had just been confident with the information we researched or wisdom we received from a mentor or our inner core relationships the outcome could have been different.
That early morning experience made me think beyond the intersection, it made me realize sometimes I act like the person in the car that was behind me. I allow my impatience and emotions about another persons decision get me all riled up. Why am I upset over someone else’s decision? I don’t know their back story, I am not standing in their shoes nor experiencing what they are experiencing or even see what they see. Did THEIR decision even impact me? Yet I want to comment or share my opinion about THEIR decision.
Comment: a verbal or written remark expressing an opinion or reaction.
Opinion: a view or judgement formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
I’m learning to evaluate my emotions prior to me verbalizing or acting upon them.
- Am I privy to factual information regarding that person, even if I am is it my place to share it?
- Since I’m not standing in their shoes, I am not privy to their view of the situation, nor am I privy to any information they may have which impacted their decision.
- Did their decision negatively impact me or close loved ones personally?
- Since I believe in God and His word is true, He uses me to bring light to darkness, He goes before us to make crooked paths straight, and His second great commandment didn’t change, I still must love my neighbor as myself, no matter what decisions either of us make in life, sounds good, but it’s hard sometimes, at least for me. (Matthew 5:16, Isaiah 45:2, Matthew 22:39-40)
In this day of active social media blasts, we have access to the reality of other people’s lives in real-time. However, with anything in life it has its pros and cons. I believe we must be careful with our comments and evaluate why we are reacting to the decisions of others as though it is life ending or cannot be altered or in such as way that we would not want to be on the reciprocating end of our own judgement.