As I walk to work or otherwise move from place to place, I find I often have a steady stream of internal dialogue about interacting with those around me.
This commentary usually starts with one of two words: sorry or thank you.
Sorry that the light changed when I was only halfway across the street, I thought I had enough time!
Thank you for slowing down so I wouldn’t have to wait in the rain to cross the street!
The list of sorrys and thank yous is seemingly infinite, but each of these interactions happens only in my mind. The people I’m “talking” to are transitory in my life, just as I am transitory in theirs. I never have the opportunity to actually say sorry or to actually say thank you.
This bothers me.
I often wonder what these fake friends of mine are thinking when we meet. When I’m thinking sorry, are they thinking, …damn pedestrian thinks they own the street…?
I hope not.
So this is what I think of when something happens like – when I have the walk light and someone’s stopped in the middle of the cross walk
Instead of thinking, damn drivers can’t pay attention to where they’re going, I assume they’re sending a silent sorry my way. And I think, no problem, man, we’re all a-holes sometimes. It’s all good.
Then next time I accidentally walk into oncoming traffic – which, you know, doesn’t happen a lot but isn’t like, outside the realm of possibility – then I send my silent sorry and I imagine them saying back, no problem, man, we’re all a-holes sometimes.
It’s all good.