I learned something recently:  “Don’t be so quick to judge.”  I know, I’m a slow learner.  Technically, I learned this lesson a long time ago. What I actually did was apply it to another situation.

A short while ago I was in a car accident.  Luckily, neither I or any of the other people involved were hurt.  The cars were another story.  The funny thing is that to many of the drivers that were delayed by the incident, it didn’t look like much.  What they didn’t see was that the entire rear frame of my car had been distorted so much that is was digging well into the rear tire.  The car that hit me was also undriveable.

As I waited for the tow truck to arrive and I watched vehicle after vehicle go slowly by, I learned to read lips and expressions.  When things were said, I read some swear words and the word “move” also came up.  A bit of anger and contempt, too.  There are signs around the city that remind drivers to move off the road for small collisions.  I couldn’t do that (I really wish I could have), but that was lost on the other drivers who were truly being inconvenienced by the accident.  They couldn’t tell that the car was a “write off”.

And, here is where the lesson comes in.  In the past, I have driven by other “small collisions” that I also thought should have resulted in the drivers moving to the side of the road.  I may have been right, but I now realize that I may also have been wrong.  (I can feel slightly good about not getting angry and cursing anyone — who wants to be in an accident?) At this collison everyone was calm and composed, that may not be the case for others.

So now, while I still agree that for small collisions drivers should move to side of the road, I don’t assume the collision is small and the drivers are able to move their vehicles.  It has also primed me to look at other areas of my life where I may be quick to judge.  And, while it has been very inconvenient and slightly expensive for me since the collision, I am grateful that I got to learn something without a more serious consequence.

Therefore, I will conclude with: drive safely and be nice to each other.