recently, i have found myself easily irritated by the way other people act: the way they drive, they way they treat me in customer service, the way they treat our employees. the apparent lack of respect some people have for other people is bothersome.
my frustration with these things comes as much from these actions actually existing (and me witnessing them) as i see them in myself: quick to judge, critical of others, slow to admit fault, impatient, stubborn, and selfish.
i can get grumpy (my husband knows this). i am most certainly impatient. i get easily annoyed, as it is. perhaps it’s my fault and my blinders for good are on. but, at least recently, i’ve been aware of how we, as society, certainly have a knack for living for ourselves.
however, on my way to work one friday evening, i was listening to NPR and there was a story on about martha mullen. she’s a woman who has nothing in common with tamerlan tsarnaev (the older brother of the two boston bombers) but who went out of her way to find a burial spot for him. convicted by her faith and the belief that all people –regardless of actions, background, religion, etc– deserve a final resting place –to be returned to the earth from where we came– sought to find someone that would provide a plot of ground for the terrorist.
listening to the interview, i was suddenly struck w how selfless her act was. she did this for a man who is most certainly despised by what i can easily imagine is the far majority of the united states of america. she wasn’t condoning or excusing his acts. but, feeling it necessary to give him one last gesture of love as we all would hope to receive in our death, put her name and reputation on the line.
i’m crying listening to this, certain i would not do the same she did. and then a bunch of cars slowed down in front of me on a very busy thoroughfare into denver. as i neared, it became apparent that at least two or three cars had stopped to help a (very) old woman whose car had broken down (or run out of gas). they were either pushing her car or using their cars to help redirect fast traffic so that everyone involved could get themselves and this old woman to a safe spot.
then i wept.
for in my cynicism — which perhaps came from being too tired and having to juggle too many things and feeling a bit isolated– these people on the radio and in the cars popped up into my hearing and vision and demonstrated two very brave and selfless acts. they demonstrated that while life is not perfect and awful things happen (and always will) and people are grumpy (including me), the world is good.