I was in a hurry to get to the studio the other evening and while traveling up Scott Avenue I got behind a car with a thirty-day tag from Wisconsin. The person driving the car was hesitant and obviously unfamiliar with the area. Since I was in a hurry, their indecision was really irritating me.
Sometimes I'm not proud of the way my mind works, but it started down old, familiar pathways of ticking off all the things I found wrong with this person. I started with the license plate and wondered why someone with a thirty-day Wisconsin tag was waffling in front of me during my obvious need to get somewhere. Hey buddy, if you're going to be here register that car in NC. What? Can't people from Wisconsin drive? Oh no, they're stopping again to turn left on Pierce Street...
At that moment everything shifted.
I realized I was right next to the hospital and I remembered hearing that some of the houses between Scott and Kenilworth were offered to people from out of town who were visiting sick relatives. It suddenly wasn't important for me to get to the studio so quickly. I said a quick prayer for the person in that car, for whomever they might be going to see, and thanks that I was going to the studio and not in a similar situation. I don't remember the rest of the drive to the studio since my mind was still on the shift I had just witnessed.
I could go on about the fact that we should be ambassadors for our city and state and that we should show people from other places courtesy, but it's a much deeper issue than interstate commerce. People just need to treat people better on a human level. Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the details of our own lives and need a little slap in the face to remember what's really important and that other people are going through things we can't even imagine. I don't know for sure that I read the situation correctly. That person might have been here from Wisconsin for any one of a thousand reasons, but the circumstantial evidence was pretty strong for the hospital.
Thank goodness I didn't gesture or honk my horn.