I got flipped off in traffic by a 1980s Corolla with bumper sticker ‘Mystic Seer’. One just had to laugh.
I had always pictured mystics as calm souls with the patience of Job…guess I had the pleasure of meeting the only one with their toga/turban/dashiki/diaper? in a knot. I relished the experience as it allowed me to feel momentarily superior (an elevated soul)…this rarely happens when I’m behind the wheel. From bearing down on the gas pedal to slamming wickedly on the brakes, my driving life is one of extremes. I fly around slow pokes, mumble “m-o-r-o-n” pretty much consistently and am in a general state of agitation until I slide my gear shift to ‘P’.
But irritating a hippie? Wow, I am good. Ok, so I was a little proud too…God knows why, that’s sorta like being proud that you got Sister Mary Margaret to say a bad word. On the other hand, it gave me pause to think that I really should do better. Shouldn’t we all? Just exercise a wee bit more patience for our fellow earthlings…and not just in traffic. I use the word ‘stranger’ like it’s a dirty word. I can’t tell how many times I’ve whined that my sister insists on bringing ‘new people’ along…and mostly behave as if they are germs that have infected my space until a sharp jab in the ribs, or a roll of her eyes bring me back to civility. Weird? Me? Oh yeah! Odd since all my friends think I’m pretty neat – but I am making an effort.
So if you’re even a bit like me, you can start small like I did. I actually respond to people who greet me whether I know them or not, I smile back at people in line at the Farmer’s Market instead of asking them politely to “back up a few inches, you’re standing way too close to me”, I let people in when in traffic (Not everyone! Your license plate says ‘Dekalb County’, so you know darn well where you exit is and you should have gotten over before you were two feet away from it!), I ask “How are you?” and not take a mental vacation the moment you open your mouth to respond.
Small…very small really, but it does make a huge difference in someone else’s day and how you are perceived. And you feel good. People say nice things about you…and they’re true. And you find that once you start doing small nice things, then more are added, then you start doing big nice things without even noticing the progression. That’s what happened to me. So maybe I thought, “Does this make me a bit of a mystic too?” I logged on to get my own bumper sticker…resisted the urge to get the one that said “Heathen” and went straight for “I ♥ Dragons”…cause I do.