Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A bad start

Ugh. A bad start to the day - things had already gone a little sour because (a) I had been planning on having toast for breakfast, and it turned out the bread had gone moldy and (b) the sweater I was wearing (yes, it is cold enough today for that; it's going to be nearly 90 on Sunday. Hello migraine) got some kind of soapy stuff on it that I couldn't get to wash I had to change sweaters (and will have to wash that one when I have time)

Then, driving to school (a little later than normal), I encountered two kids walking to school. I THINK they were junior high-aged; the junior high is the school nearest me. Anyway. The block they were walking on had a sidewalk but they chose to walk out in the middle of one of the lanes on the street (the traffic lane I would be driving in). I carefully eased out around them, giving them a safe wide berth.

And one of them flipped me off.

Why? I don't know. Maybe he had a fight with his parents or his brother or his girlfriend and was just angry. Maybe I represented some kind of vague authority that he could flip off with impunity. Maybe he was jealous that he was walking and I was driving. Maybe his buddy dared him to.

But these are the kinds of things that just feel so UNNECESSARY to me. Like vandalism. And in a way, flipping someone off is kind of a form of vandalism, just like noise can be a form of pollution. It makes life worse. I can't imagine that flipping someone off makes the flipper feel BETTER; if anything, the times I've muttered stuff under my breath "in response" to some idiocy it made me feel worse than if I just shrugged and moved on.

But that seems to be a trend. Or maybe I'm noticing it more. There's just a lot of random ugliness in the world, people doing ugly things to other people that they don't need to do.

I don't always succeed at it, but I do try NOT to do random ugly things, and I try, when I can, to do little things that will make someone else's life better. Even when I have to deliver criticism, I try to be constructive about it, try to phrase it in a way that I would want to hear if I were the recipient.

But I guess there's just human thoughtlessness and selfishness out there. The Golden Rule is easily stated but sometimes hard to put into practice. And one thing we've talked about a lot in Sunday School is how simple "love thy neighbor as thyself" is to comprehend, but how hard it is to put into practice.

I'm trying not to let my day affected or be made sad by the fact that a thirteen-year-old flipped me off for no apparent reason this morning. But I'm tired, I put in a couple long, hard days of grading, I know some of the students are going to be disappointed over the grades they earned, so it's really hard.

I also think I'm suffering from a deficit of "fun" in my life. I COULD do something Saturday but I don't know what... going to Sherman doesn't seem like a treat, that's just mostly getting groceries. And I don't know if I feel like braving the traffic to get to McKinney. And Davis and Sulphur - which are almost as far, but less traffic - were kind of a disappointment, not something that merited a day trip again, I think. So I don't know.

If I had more time this morning (I don't; I have to update and proofread my finals and do more grading), I'd spend a bunch of time looking at pictures of pretty handknits and other pretty handmade things and cute animals on the Internet to kind of wash the ugliness of this morning out of my mind. But I don't, so it's back to grading.

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