Righting the World
by Carrie Pokrefke
I enjoy walking my dog in the mornings and evenings. It’s “our” time together. I don’t rush her and I let her take her time. Plus, she has short little legs, likes to sniff everything in our path and greets each human that walks past us.
This morning, we were crossing the street (in the pedestrian’s path) on our way back home. A car turned right off of one street to drive down the street we were crossing. Well, we were still crossing so we were blocking her path. So, she honked her horn. At us. First, it scared me (who likes a horn blared in their ear?) and second, it made me mad. I was enjoying my walk. And she just honked her horn at me!! She scared me. I feld like my dog’s safety was in jeopardy. I guess I’m glad that’s ALL she did because if she had rolled a few more feet forward, and would’ve been pancakes on the asphalt.
Now, this is where my brain searches a billion options for an appropriate response – all in a split second. My first (and only response) was to shoot her a look and to ask, “Really?” to her as she drove past us – window down. After my heart rate dropped and my brain thought for another second, I realized that there were so many other options!! Like screaming at her or throwing the bag I had in my hands into her open window or running over to her car and kicking her tires. Repeatedly. But, that’s just not me.
Sometimes I beat myself up for not having a more severe reaction than I do. But, then I stop myself and think about the other person. I don’t know what they are going through. I cannot take whatever someone does personally. It’s not about me. It’s outside “my circle.”
I sometimes imagine the earth is split into two scales – one has all the bad things piling up and the other has all the good things adding up. After this morning, I decided that the best way to recover from something like that is to intentionally (& immediately) do something GOOD for someone else. My good will help “right” the world and to erase the negative energy that someone else created. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. Sometimes all it takes is a smile, holding the door open or taking a moment to ask someone, “How are you doing?” and to stop and actually listen to their response.
The next time you see an injustice in the world – whether it happens TO you or AROUND you, I encourage you to respond with a good deed or a kind word to help “right” the world.