It’s a strange time. A time where some of us may be ultra vigilant.
This afternoon, there was a young man on the bus. His clothes were tattered. He was mouthing words to himself, occasionally smiling, other times seeming as if praying, and once in awhile whistling like a bird.
I felt concerned.
I couldn’t help but think, “Is he planning to do something harmful?”
I felt relieved when he got off before the school.
Then I realized it’s so easy to get caught up in our emotions. I mean, I was convinced this dude had a bomb on him or something.
But he didn’t.
There are so many times we can see something and mistake it.
His clothes? Well, he also had a hard hat with him that I didn’t initially notice, so he probably has the kind of job that is hard on clothes. The mouthing to himself? Well, perhaps he was practicing what he was going to say to someone, maybe even a proposal. The smiling? Happy about how his work day went or his evening plans. Praying? Maybe he was just closing his eyes for a moment because he was tired after working all day. And if I could whistle exactly like a song bird, I’d do it often too because it’s pretty damn cool.
One of the things about being a writer is that I need to be able to see multiple sides of people or situations. I also need to be observant. The downside is it can lead me to judge someone.
Another thing I noticed about him? He had kind eyes full of life and happiness. That’s something you don’t see with people who do horrid things generally.
I need to notice things as a martial artist too, but I also need to be able to discern when something requires action. Often that means being cautious, which is something I can’t do if I’m in a hurry. Sometimes speed is important in martial arts, but many times patience is far more important.
It keeps us from making the wrong decisions. If you have to spend a lot of time rationalizing why it’s okay to do something, it’s probably not.
Is there a time you were too quick to judge someone unfairly? How did it turn out for you?
And that’s how life’s river flows today.