The Parable of the Apologetic Driver, plus the Web Site of the Week



Let’s kick off this post with the Web site of the week. I can’t think of a better site to begin this series than with the blog of the amazingly talented Jennifer McGuire: Talk about inspiration! Her site has adorable cards and scrapbook layouts, great technique tips, helpful videos, and loads of fun. Plus, she constantly provides great links to other inspirational projects. Jennifer writes the Tools & Techniques column in Creating Keepsakes magazine each month (in addition to designing for Hero Arts, among others). Every time I see her projects, I instantly want to scrapbook. Her artwork is fabulously fresh and delightfully doable to copy, though I can’t imagine how she comes up with all her creative ideas. Plus, she is one of the sweetest people in the world—a 100% genuinely good soul who I feel incredibly grateful to count among my friends. I think you’ll sense her amazing personality as you visit her site. So stop by, look around, and subscribe to her RSS feed—it’s like a ray of sunshine each time you see her latest post. (Yes, I realize how cheesy that sounds, but giving any credit less than that simply wouldn’t be true.)

Now for the parable of the day. Last night when I was driving around town, a man cut me off only to swerve back into his original lane when he realized I was there, wait for me to pass, and then proceed to the lane on the opposite side of me. We came to a stoplight and ended up side by side. Normally when other drivers cut me off and I have the opportunity to stare them down as we are side by side, I don’t look over. I figure they made an honest mistake (very true in this case), so I don’t want them to think I’m bitter toward them if I look over. I just try to let it be. But for some reason, I looked over at this man. He had been waiting for me to look over, and he said, “I am so sorry.” (Thank goodness for lip-reading.) I said, “It’s okay,” and we both went on our merry way.

Truth be told, I was caught off guard by the apology. I appreciated that he had taken the time to look over and wait for me to look back so he could apologize. I wondered if I had missed the opportunity to experience that same process in the past because I never looked at the other drivers who have cut me off. I thought I’d been kind by not drawing their attention, but I realized tonight that I may have left them feeling guilty that I thought they’d cut me off on purpose.

I can’t help but think how often we may do that with other people who cross our paths. How often are people waiting to say, “I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t mean to,” and we don’t give them the chance to do it? Perhaps we need to stop staring at the stoplight, waiting for it to turn green so we can speed ahead of the other driver, and look over to make sure the other driver can be heard. Sure, we’ll probably run into drivers who aren’t waiting for us to look at them, but sometimes there will be a driver waiting to say, “I’m sorry,” and they’ll be grateful we gave them a chance. I think we’ll be grateful, too, because last night my heart was softened instead of left bitter—and I think I was the one who benefited most from the moment.

P.S. These three articles came to mind as I thought about this subject: this newspaper article, this address (where I first learned of the newspaper article), and this address. They’re great reads if you want to study more on forgiveness.

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