To the guy I flipped off in the Kroger parking lot last week: you deserved it.
You were an asshole.
Here’s what happened.
A Can of Soup Escaped
I dropped a can of soup from my grocery cart, bent to pick it up, and you chose to drive through the pedestrian walkway I was occupying. Coming too close to me, after not giving me my legal right-of-way in the first place. You not only treated me like an object to navigate, but you also comprised my safety.
So I flipped you off. As you deserved.
And nobody can convince me otherwise.
“Justice” Came at Too High a Price
Yet, as I drove home from the grocery, I found my blood pressure raised and my mood fouled with anger. My fists were clenched and my brain churning with insults and choice epithets.
What price did I pay, to give that guy what he deserved? I paid with my peace of mind.
Was it actually worth that price? Absolutely not.
Would I do it again if I had the chance? Logically, I’d like to say “no”, but I might. That guy really scared me when he took away my safe passage and put me in danger.
It’s Not About Right Versus Wrong – Except As It Pertains to Me
I don’t point this out to chastise myself for the choice I made. Nor to say that I made the wrong choice. But in situations where it is possible, I do want to make different choices.
Because, at the end of the day, that choice was the wrong one – for me. Because of the high price I paid, that choice wasn’t worth it!
When Wouldn’t I Do That Again?
But I just said that I might do it again under identical circumstances, right?
So when would it be most possible to make a different choice? When I’m not in immediate danger.
Don’t let your litmus test be “Does he/she deserve it?” Instead, let it be “Am I willing to pay this price?”
Any time you’re not in immediate danger, when you have the luxury of mulling over how you wish to respond, weigh the price you’ll pay.
And, if it’ll cost you your piece of mind, don’t do it. Nothing is worth that price.