Different Paths

Sometimes I notice seemingly normal things, and it triggers the strangest thoughts.

Today, I realized how much I enjoy watching other cars veering off into their own directions. This is particularly true when other cars get off at exits or turn into shopping centers or housing developments while I continue straight.

Don’t worry. I’m watching where I’m going. I just steal quick peeks at the rear-view mirror until I can’t see them any more.

It’s a sort-of reality check for me. It reminds me that my troubles aren’t the only troubles.

I can explain a bit further how one relates to the other in my mind:

I’m going somewhere. It could be to work, to a writing meeting, or just driving for Uber and taking someone else somewhere that’s important to them. When I am on my way to these things, I rarely take the time to think about where all the hundreds of other cars are going. And who would?

We are all wrapped up in our own things. We all have our own issues and stresses and interests and appointments. That’s completely alright. If it was our responsibility to worry about every other human being’s goings on, there would be no time to sleep.

However, it’s really easy to get too concerned with what I have going on. And when I remember this, when I realize that I’m not the only person in this world and all the other millions of things happening around me suddenly snaps into focus, I feel godawful.

All of a sudden, I can see the brand new Tesla vehicle in front of me just as clearly as the beat up mini van to my right. And to my left, a man stands on the median holding a sign begging for a few cents so that he may eat just one more meal. Behind me, someone is turning into a gas station (are they filling up their tank or just dumping their last dollars in?). Ahead of me, people are crossing the busy intersection at amazing speeds, trusting others to follow the numerous rules of the road but not caring to know their names.

It’s just nice sometimes to slow down for a moment and take a long, serious look around myself. I take a second to watch the silver sedan steering off the highway and turning into their exit and wonder, for a moment, where they may be headed, what sorts of things are on their minds, and are they struggling with anything?

I will never know. And they will never know that they were thought of. But that’s okay. I’m not thinking of them for attention. I just enjoy not being selfish at times. It makes me feel good. And one day, when I carry more weight in this world, I would really like to make a big difference.



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