A perfect chance to practice these principles in all my affairs presented itself today, big time. Dateline: November 2, 11:15 a.m. I’m taking my daughter to her gymnastics class. It’s 5 minutes away and starts at 11:30.
As I travel the four-lane, 40 mph road to gymnastics, I am almost sideswiped by a Lincoln Mariner SUV that passes me on the left,then swerves to the right, passes three more cars, then cuts across to the far left passing lane, forcing four cars to slam on their brakes.
Step Twelve: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Turns out, he’s taking his daughter to gymnastics as well. Lucky me. Now, the old me would have followed him into the building, then blown up all over him. Words like “asshole” and “douche bag” would have been thrown around a room full of mothers with their pre-adolescent daughters. Oh, and my daughter would have watched the entire thing as well.
But on this day, I didn’t do anything, except avoid the situation entirely. We entered through a different doorway. I’ve always known that yelling at somebody like that did no good, but that never stopped me before. Even when an American is 100% wrong, when someone calls bullshit on them, they immediately start screaming obscenities.
No one’s ever thanked me for calling them out. Which always ends up surprising me. Of coarse no one is going to take responsibility for their actions. Nor will they enjoy the embarrassment of being singled out by a complete stranger.
I’m still mulling this over at 2:30 p.m. I want to be the best I can be. Is there any way I could go over and quietly say to the man, “Hey, I was following you back there and you were driving kind of crazy, just to let you know, kinda dangerous, okay?”
But even that isn’t going to do anything, right? It’ll still turn into angry yelling. Today, I stared at him when I approached. When our eyes met, I kept my stare until he looked away. Did he understand what was going on? I he sitting at his kitchen table right now, feeling bad about his driving because of my gaze? I’m guessing not.
So, practice these principals. Golden rule.