So I’m at the red light and the light turns green. There’s one car in front of me and it doesn’t move. I’ve been working on being more patient, so I decide to give him a couple seconds before I honk. Boom! Someone hits me from behind.
I’m okay. Sore neck, sore back, two hours in the ER and a billion x-rays say nothing’s broken. Right. Thank goodness. Really, THANK GOODNESS!!!
But from now on, the second the light turns green, I’m giving my horn a helpful tap. That’s just sensible self-protection. Good Orderly Direction. Keeping the system running smoothly for all.
Too nice is not healthy for anybody.
And by the way, I didn’t let anyone yell at me about the accident, either. When someone did start yelling at me that there was no damage to my car, why did I want to involve the insurance companies? well, I just went over the the police officer and asked him to handle the situation and keep that angry person away from me. He did.
Nice does not include, need or involve letting someone hurt me in any way at all, ever. (For the record, I knew I was going to need medical attention. I felt my head whip back and forth. That’s why I needed a police report. And there was damage to the car as well. I don’t have to explain, but I wanted to.)
Compassion, yes. Patience, yes. But awareness, alertness and common sense, too. I don’t have to be a doormat. I don’t have to give myself away to my own detriment. I don’t have to be hero, a saint or a martyr.
The Buddhists have a thing called Idiot Compassion, where you kindly hang in there when there’s no good outcome foreseeable and you’re being hurt. No more Idiot Compassion.
And for the record, I did not yell at anybody. I did not lose my cool. I did take care of myself. And here I am, alive and well and learning. Always learning!