You made my day worse

I’d just been to the hairdresser, thinking about how nice it was to catch up and have some time to just sit in one spot and be looked after.

Driving out of Coles @ Parkholme a man decided I needed to be taught a lesson and thumped the back of my car as I drove past him.  I had slowed for the pedestrian crossing and let a group walk, but he came running from the side and I didn’t see him until I had continued moving forward.  I made a decision to carry on as I was past him within a second but he decided this wasn’t good enough.  He made my day worse, and HE MEANT TO.  I’m a bit ashamed to say I responded by giving him the finger!  Ashamed only because I am not normally someone who gives people the finger (except as a joke) and his judgmental act had brought out my nasty side.

It made me wonder, why do people do this to each other?  I’d already read this morning about a friend who’d received an anonymous letter from a neighbour complaining about their dog.  It seemed from her response that perhaps they had a right to be a little annoyed with the puppy’s barking, however this ‘neighbour’ had taken it a step too far with an aggressive letter, detailing what should be done to the dog to stop it from barking, suggesting it be put down.  This letter was picked up and read first by her children.  Why would a neighbour not come over to talk first or at least leave a note that asked ‘Can we talk about the dog, I’m at No.47?  And why would a stranger in the car park feel the need to make safe judgement on another human, not having any idea what was going on in their life, for a small issue?  I certainly didn’t come anywhere close to hitting him with my car.  What if I had been a 6 ft tall wrestler and gotten out to teach him a lesson?  Oh wait, he saw me, he knew I was only a girl…  What if I had been an Internet shamer and stopped to take his photo and put it up on Facebook?  Would he have liked that?  I wonder what would have happened and I stopped and apologised for the apparent offence?

I left a note for my reclusive neighbour a few months ago, so I know what starts people thinking like this.  They have been inconvenienced and they feel someone else should be too.  In my case I’d been woken at 2:30am with bins being dragged past my window for collection at 7am.  I was pretty cheesed off!  But I left it for a day (after a Facebook rant) and put a note in his letterbox thanking him for finding a better time to do this.  A fortnight later I got a reply saying ‘No problem and see you soon’ – he leaves excess fruit from the trading markets he goes to, on my doorstep too but I hardly ever see him.  I also left an open note to the thief who stole my front lawn hose connection, asking them where their manners were, in case they popped back to see.  I did take it away after a week, feeling a bit silly to be honest!  Notes are probably only effective when they are written in a helpful mind-frame.  Do we want to just shame someone, take the high and mighty approach and prove them wrong?  Or do we want a solution to the problem and potentially better relationships with neighbours and the community?

People need compassion.  You don’t know what is happening in their lives.  Perhaps small affronts should be let slide?  Large annoyances should be talked about before they get large.  Is it really only a few people who can display compassion to people who aren’t in their family or friendship circle?  Or don’t we get the chance to show our good sides?  Perhaps this man’s partner has just died, perhaps he lost his job yesterday, perhaps I don’t know (he could just be an A*hole).

This, of course, all has nothing to do with my recovery from post-viral fatigue but it really is a topic that makes me feel tired!





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