A short story of karma

Imagine if everyone made an effort to understand someone before judging them? During a bike ride with a friend this weekend, it was the simple honk of a horn that made me ponder this question.

At a point during our Sunday morning ride, a car slowed behind us and began blowing the horn. We aligned single-file to make room for the approaching car. This is common practice for us in areas with little shoulder. The driver did yield, but only before passing very close to us. I glanced in to see an elderly couple and one irate driver shaking his fist. Such gestures are routine for us cyclists, but this particular encounter was not over.

About a mile later that same car was stopped on a side street and as we approached the driver waved me in. I was unsure what to expect but I figured it might involve more fist waving and a maybe some yelling. As I neared the car the flustered driver announced that they were lost and he kindly asked me for directions. They had been looking for a street for over an hour and were late for a family function. He likely didn’t remember me as the cyclist from a mile back, but that was ok. He was upset with himself and anxious, so I assured him that he was close to his destination and I directed him East. He thanked me and we parted ways.

As we pedalled away I couldn’t help but think of the expression “walk a mile in his shoes”. Within one short mile, he went from cyclist-hater and to gracious elderly man. If he did realize that I was the obstructing cyclist from our earlier encounter, I’d like to think that he repented in his own way. But, if there was no feeling of remorse, that’s ok too, because he should have gone West!

Maybe I’ll be more open-minded to the honking horns and middle fingers in the future…or maybe not. 😉



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