Who's responsibility is it?
Last night I was returning to my office by car. It was dark and visibility was not great at the intersection I was at. There was no marked crosswalk. I stopped at the sign and began to turn left onto another street. Part way through the intersection, a woman appeared. She was crossing the street in front of my car. She gave me the "what in the hell" look and raised her arms up. I stopped and let her finish crossing. I rolled down my window and said "I can't see you, with your dark clothes." She said "it's your responsibility." I said, "and I stopped when I saw you." To which she responded "f*** you, a**hole." I drove off, but felt like I wanted to blast her for her rudeness. I'm glad I chose not to lower myself to her level, but it still affected me. How could people in my own community treat each other like this? Where did basic decency and respect go? How does an obvious and understandable mistake turn into an opportunity for someone to call you names? There is just so much anger in our country right now. Thanks Trump! Another "win" for you.
I'm all for people expressing themselves, and it is my responsibility to do the best I can to not run people over when I drive my car, but blaming others and lashing out are not the answer. She has a responsibility when crossing the road too.
I was put in a situation where I had to actively use skills not to engage in negative and hurtful behavior. I see a lot more of those interactions going the opposite way right now all the way up to the leader of our counrty. I would like for us all to be more kind and respectful to each other, especially when we make mistakes and are willing to own up to them. I wonder how we can get that message to the President?
Tom Kelley, MA, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.