Today as I pulled into Chick-Fil-A (or rather attempted to do so), there was a man in his car pulled at such an angle so as to prevent either of us from moving forward. He was on my side of the lane. Yet seemed incredibly put off that I could not solve his driving problem for him. And so as I waited for him to move, he backed up while unleashing his anger in a stream of profanities directed towards me. I just heard the last bit – “You &*$% women drivers!!!!”
To any women in his life, I pity you. He clearly has a major problem with responsibility as well as with blaming women for his own problems. (yes, that’s probably the counselor in me talking) I’m sure he must be awful to live with. If our little parking lot exchange was enough to unleash such vehement anger towards all women, I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually have a disagreement with him at work or home.
But let’s bring the story back to the subject of why small things matter. Although I can rationally say that this guy has an anger problem completely disconnected from me and my actions, the way he treated me still hurt. I reacted by starting to cry in the parking lot of Chick-Fil-A, trying to control the tears so that I could actually get on with my original plan of enjoying my favorite fast food meal ever: the original chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a lemonade. The way that we people treat each other matters. No matter how distant or brief the interaction, we are created to influence one another and to be affected by how others treat us.
And to end on a good note, I will say that as I walked in, an older gentleman went out of his way to open the door for me. And that mattered. It brought a smile to my face as I was still fighting back the tears. It caused me to reflect on how I interact with the myriad of strangers in my everyday life – is it in a way that will bring joy (no matter how small) or pain (regardless of how insignificant it may seem)?