Are You Trying to Be Too Nice?

by | Oct 8, 2019 | Observations, Peter's Voice

The other day I was riding my bike to one of my favorite coffee shops. On the way, I reached a busy intersection. The cross street had the right of way, and there is a large, well-marked crosswalk that I could use. Since I was on my bike, I stopped at the stop sign to wait for the traffic to clear.

As I stood there straddling my bike, an enormous brand new black pick up truck approached from the left side and stopped. The driver didn’t have a stop sign but stopped anyway. On the right side, a beat-up white Ford Econoline van also came to a stop and honked his horn.

I thought to myself, why don’t these people follow the rules of the road and drive like they have the right of way.

I waved the big truck through, and he did so. He punched the accelerator and flew through the intersection as he glared at me. The driver of the van yelled out the window that I should have crossed the road in front of the two cars that stopped. He was mad at me for refusing his kindness.

After the traffic cleared, I crossed the road and continued on my ride, but was feeling a little unsettled after getting glared at and yelled at by the two drivers.

A few minutes later, I burst out laughing. All three of us started out trying to be nice. I was following my rules – stop at the stop sign and let the cars with the right of way pass before crossing the street.

The truck and van drivers followed their rules – give bicycles the right of way, especially at a well-marked crosswalk – so I could safely cross the busy intersection.

They had their perspective, I had mine, and we all clashed! Everyone ended up disappointed and frustrated.

One of the principles of You Can Choose is “It’s All About You.

When we say that, some people ask us what will happen when everyone thinks about themselves first. Won’t there be chaos? Who will set and enforce the rules?

When you genuinely know what you want, you don’t see others as getting in your way or as distractions. You also don’t have to worry about going out of your way to please them. When you recognize you are the center of your experience, everything in the Universe revolves around you without any effort on your part.

It’s funny how even though we all started out trying to be helpful at that intersection, as we each went our way none of us felt appreciated or happy. In fact, we were all quite frustrated with the others for not accepting our individual offer of kindness. How silly is that!!!

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