Interstate 25 used to be a reliable place for me to lose a good mood. Drivers, aggressive and erratic was my interpreted focus. I used to offer free drivers education rolling commentary on every commute. I was perpetually angry and irritated. My attitude is much different now. If someone gets in front of me and goes slow, I think of them as a guardian angel, perhaps protecting me from some unseen dangers up ahead. When I was young, I would see every rolling piece of metal as my enemy. Blockades of agitators that were on the road simply to annoy me. That wasn’t true. I was full of anger and aggression, and I was egocentric. Today, as I drive, I make sure I have extra time for unseen delays. While I drive, I look at other people, and wonder what their story is. Did they just get promoted, or lose their job? Did they lose a loved one, or just get engaged? Are there kids still living in the same town, or did they lose a child last year? Oh no, they cheer for the wrong football team, oh well, I am sure they have their reasons. Cars are powered by people. People with lives and stories. Today, I am grateful that I finally see that.
A safe arrival after driving is a blessing. Every time. In all my years behind the wheel, I have always arrived safe. Among thousands of people, we all coordinated our efforts within very dangerous machines, and made it to our destinations safe. If there was a score card that showed accidents to safe arrivals, what shred of anything would I have to complain about? Nothing. Realizing that, I drive happy.
God has blessed me in so many ways. Family, career, and health. I wonder if he takes it as an insult when I complain that the line at the coffee shop is moving slow? Does he feel sad when he blesses me with that sports car I have always wanted, and I lust for one better? Does he shake his head when I complain about a cold, and forget that surgery that solved my life long struggle with perpetual sinus infections? When I pause, most days I shake my head. I am like a spoiled child, hungry for more. What I am trying hard to do is identify what is good in my life, and enjoy it. The negative things are mosquito sized problems. They are annoying, and they capture my complete attention and irritation, but they are so insignificant to the big picture.
One of my newer tricks for happiness is to find what is good about someone and compliment them, encourage them, brag about them, and mean it. This takes my attention off of me. I pause, I sigh, I finally see that the ratio is in my favor, and there are good people to be noticed all around me.
Copyright © 2017 Zachary W Gilbert