I was fumbling through a magazine recently where I came across the following article:
"Every summer my husband and I pack our suitcases, load our kids into the car, and drive from tense crowded New York City to my family's cottage in Northern New England. It's on an island, with stretches of sea and sandy beaches, rocky coasts, and pine trees. We barbecue, swim, lie around, and try to do nothing...
One night, my husband and I decided to go out for a movie date. It was a Friday night, so all the tourists who flood the island in the high season had taken over, but we didn't mind. We ate lobster rolls on the bay, sat in the theater with our popcorn, and poured out with the rest of the crowd to get our car.
The tiny main street was clogged with traffic. My husband saw a shortcut and made a left onto a quiet lane. We chitchatted about the movie; we were relaxed, distracted, and removed from the stresses of the city. And it was during this pleasurable little moment that a young woman passing by us screamed, 'This is a one-way street, you asshole!'
In the silence that followed, I felt a fury overtake me. But there is a reason my husband's nickname is the Zen Master. Before I could think of a suitable comeback, he'd stopped the car, smiled at the woman, and said 'Hi.'
She looked surprised. 'Uh, hi,' she said.
'Just so you know, I'm really not an asshole,' Jon began. 'I didn't realize this was a one way because I didn't see the sign.'
The woman's complexion, previously tan, turned crimson. 'It's on the edge of the entrance,' she said quietly. 'It's easy to miss.'
'Okay,' he said. 'Well, I'm sorry about that.'
'No worries,' she said. 'I'm sorry, too.'
'See you around, then,' my husband said. 'Take care.'
'You, too,' she said.
And we drove off.
It's too easy to sum up a person's character in one negative instant, and it doesn't put anything good out into the world. We're all in this together."
(story from the August Oprah about Hope Davis and written by Justine van der Leun.)
Imagine if we all weren't so judgmental?