I am a fortunate, blessed man. I am happy. I am passionate, I enjoy my life. I love my wife, and my daughters. My sobriety.
I love cycling.
While out on our ride yesterday, my friend, Chuck noticed the driver of a pickup truck (why is it always the pickup truck owners?) coming towards us in the other lane flip the three of us off… He didn’t have to slow down or pass us.
Chuck, in turn, sounded a little more than perturbed that someone would flip us off for no good reason.
There are often several ways to interpret outside stimuli. Some easier than others. I may have read too much emotion into Chuck’s voice as he told me what had just happened but I chose to let him know how I felt about it. I said, “That just makes me happy for how blessed (interchange with “lucky” or “fortunate” if faith offends your sensibility) I am that I don’t anger that easy.” I added, “Could you imagine how angry you have to be inside, to flip off a few guys for nothing more than riding a bike? It’s quite sad when you think about it.” I felt sorry for the poor fella.
Granted, mine is not the normal reaction to something as crass as being flipped off. It took work to think like that. It takes a level of acceptance and a lot of practice to allow people to be jerks without reacting with more of the same.
Reacting with pity, rather than anger, requires what is often misperceived as weakness. Shouldn’t we, after all, show that rude jerk who’s boss?
Put simply, if crassly, this is what I believe: Proving to an asshole that I’m a larger, stinkier asshole is not the path to happiness.
It’s as simple as that.
Enjoy your Sunday ride (swim or run, or all three). May you always keep the rubber side down and a smile on your face.