Many years ago I had a summer job that required a lot of driving here in New Jersey. One day I was stopped at an intersection when I witnessed two drivers almost get into an accident. One was going straight through the intersection while the other was turning. With the piercing screech of brakes, they stopped just inches from each other.
“What the hell are you doing! You almost hit me!” screamed one.
Not missing a beat, the other driver fired back, “I almost hit you? I have the right of way! You almost killed me!”
This mini street drama played out for several minutes as their anger rose and their need to be right increased.
Neither of them backed down, but eventually they got back into their cars, their faces flushed with rage, still yelling at each other as they drove away. I can only imagine the stories they told to their wives that night when they sat down for dinner.
As I drove from the “accident” scene, I couldn’t stop thinking about what just happened. I couldn’t understand their reactions and the way in which they chose to interact with each other. I felt as if they missed one very important fact regarding what just unfolded — they ALMOST crashed into each other. What they missed in this whole experience was that they DIDN’T crash into each other.
As I played the scene over and over again in my mind, I couldn’t understand why they didn’t get out of their cars, run toward each other and hug, exclaiming, “Oh my God! You almost hit me! That was so close! Thank you so much for stopping just in time. You saved my life! We are so lucky! Look, no damage to our cars and we’re safe! And thank God we didn’t hurt anyone else. Wow, what a great day!”
I am continually amazed by the number of people who get upset about things that ALMOST happened but DIDN’T. This makes no sense to me.
I almost fell. I almost missed the turn. I almost missed my train/bus/airplane. I almost . . .
In each of these situations, what should be present more than anything else is gratitude. Gratitude for what did happen rather than anger, drama or being upset about what didn’t happen. With just a moment of reflection, any of these incidences can be seen as a blessing for which to be grateful.
Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
– Jean Massieu
As the beautiful holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, perhaps we should all take a breath and appreciate our angels who prevented something from ALMOST happening in our lives.
All too often we choose, usually unconsciously, to get caught up in the drama of a situation. More times than not this leads to nothing more than wasted energy and emotion in life. And life is too short and precious to do that!
And if you’d like to take a look at some AMAZINGLY CLOSE calls and some people who are thanking their lucky stars and angels, take 2 minutes to watch this incredible video!!