I’m astounded by the risks pedestrians and bikers take on their road back home or to work. The shortest distance between two points consists of a straight line. Conservation of energy reigns supreme to most foot and bicycle traffic so hoe-bearing old farmers tramp across eight-lane highways looking neither right nor left. On a rainy night people invisibly weave in and out of cars on dark, soot covered bikes cloaked in black jackets. Have I explained why I dislike driving in the rain?
From the comfort of my car, I remind myself of the days I rode bikes in driving rain. The days I arrived home with mud spattered up my back into my hair and my hands turned to ice on the bars. The early days when I achieved my personal challenge of keeping my feet on the pedals all the way to school to avoid sinking into piles of mud. So, now, stopping to allow a horde of pedestrians cross a busy street on a rainy day brings a wide smile to my face.
Yielding defies all local logic. Most become paralyzed in disbelief when I give way. I see the confusion on their face as they struggle to decode the situation and then discover the unbelievable. Someone stopped….for me. Often they spring forward when the idea dawns that the coast is clear, a new surge in their energy. I especially like stopping for one person in this country who believe to the core of their beings they rank only one of “too many.”
Giving way. Yielding. Such a small thing to give way yet what a difference it makes to give away a few seconds, to not be first that time, to not claim my right according to the law, to surprise someone with a small kindness, to recognize an individual soul.
I do not always yield, believe me, but I like the state of my heart when I do.
What uncommon courtesy puts a spring in your step? What uncommon courtesy do you like to gift others?