Have I ever told you the story of the chili in the passenger seat?
A few years ago I was on my way to my friend’s apartment for a Halloween party, and I decided to make chili. It turned out amazing but here’s the problem. I didn’t consider how difficult it would be to transport it.
I didn’t have it contained in a crockpot or even Tupperware with a snap. No, it was in a big pot covered with plastic wrap and a prayer.
I sat it on the floor of the passenger seat, and drove at about fifteen miles per hour until I reached my destination.
As I drove I imagined what all of the other drivers on the road must’ve been thinking:
“Speed up, you asshole!”
“I bet she’s old!”
“Do you think I can pass her?”
“I’m going to be late!”
It didn’t feel good to be on the receiving end of this imagined hate. Didn’t they know I had chili in the passenger seat?
Then I realized how many times I’d been the one frustrated by somebody driving slowly. My frustration didn’t amount to anything. It didn’t help me get to where I was going faster and, frankly, most times it didn’t truly matter whether I got there on time. The only consequence was that my blood pressure skyrocketed, making me dizzy.
Now when I’m behind somebody who isn’t going as fast as I’d like them to be, I think Maybe they’ve got chili in the passenger seat. It makes me laugh, but also reminds me that they have reasons for going slow which should be respected. Often, the reason for our frustrations are a misunderstanding; rather than jumping to conclusions, train your brain to be more empathetic.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? What are your thoughts?
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