I left work very angry today. That isn’t something I do often. In fact, I could probably count the times that has happened in the last 4 years on one hand.
As I rode along the expressway on my commute home, I sat stewing. I was going over and over imaginary conversations and what if scenarios in my mind. With each passing mile I was getting more angry. I tried to reason with myself, to back away from the ledge of being good and pissed off. But, my self-absorbed anger hung over me like a cloud.
Just a few miles from home, I slowed to a stop at a traffic light. Watching and waiting for the light, I glanced to my right at the car in the turning lane. There from the drivers seat, a woman threw me a lifeline. In one fluid gesture, she raised her eyebrows, smirked her lips and nodded her head up and down as if to say, “Wow, niiiiiice bike.”
In that moment I smiled in spite of myself and nodded a thank you. Before I knew what was happening, I felt tears well up in my eyes. Some strange combination of shame and relief had overwhelmed me.
Her gesture, as simple as it was – changed me in that moment. She put a bandaid on my day and made things all better. I wish I could have hugged her.
What you do and what you say matters to people. Even if you never see them again.