Update: I originally created this video in November of 2016. Here, over half a year later, I can honestly say this doesn’t happen with me very much anymore. But I believe the first step to improving anything is awareness. And that’s what this video blog is really all about.
Here’s the transcript:
It’s just you and me here right now right?
There’s, there’s nobody else around?
Okay, good. So let’s see if over the next minute or so, you and I can be really honest with each other, okay? Watch this, and see if it feels familiar.
[Screen switches to image of a vehicle] “The person driving that car? What an idiot!”
No? You don’t do that? Good. I hope not! Because I said a moment ago I wanted to be honest with you. I do that and I’m not very proud of it. Especially when I’ve been working so hard to build automatic positive thoughts and wanting to feel more connected with other people and not more separate. So I’m often horrified with myself while I’m out and about through the day and I hear myself thinking or even saying out loud things like this:
[Screen switches to image of a vehicle] “What a moron!”
Why do we just automatically assume that the person in the car in front of us has some sort of nefarious intent upon us?
Now I hope that you’re watching that and thinking “Kevin, you’re nuts. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never been in a car like that. I’ve never felt like that.”
That’s good. If you’re being honest and that’s how you feel we need more people like you. I do that, or think that or allow those old patterns to come back and jump up and bite me almost every single day at least once or twice.
I’m at least at the point now where I’m catching it and I’m being aware of it, especially when my kids are in the car. I’ll start complaining about the person in front of me not going quick enough at an advance green or going too slowly, or not going around the city bus, or whatever the case might be. But acting as if the person that’s in front of me in their vehicle is actually deliberately trying to get in my way, slow me down, make my life more difficult. Wwhen I catch myself doing it I’ll stop and “Guys,” I’ll say to my kids, “I apologize. That’s not the way that I want to behave. I’m not helping here.” And they’ll sometimes laugh, but hopefully we’re starting to break that pattern of just reinforcing: you’re either in my way or you’re slowing me down, or you’re out to get me. No! People aren’t.
We think we know what’s going on in another person’s life? We don’t know. We have no idea what that person might be dealing with.
Why do we just automatically assume that the person in the car in front of us has some sort of nefarious intent upon us? They’re just trying to get where they’re going just like I am. They want to arrive safely just like I do. And by the way, we think we know what’s going on in another person’s life? We don’t know. We have no idea what that person might be dealing with.
Oh! And one other thing: In case you are being honest with yourself, and in case you’re kind of chuckling and going “Yeah Kevin you know what? You got me. I do that too.” Well if that’s true then this is true too.
[Screen switches to image of a rear view mirror inside the vehicle] “Whoever is behind me there? I bet they think I’m an idiot too. Plus I need to clean that rear view mirror.”
The truth? None of us are idiots. I’m not, you’re not. We’re all just trying to make our way through life, get there safely and happily and deal with everything that keeps getting thrown at us. So, why don’t we work together and cut each other a little bit of slack.