Inch Forward, Back Up

photo-1500589177368-c810ea3db799.jpgI turned on my left blinker and waited at the busy intersection for my light to turn. I could proceed with caution on a yellow arrow. I inched forward, but before I began to turn, I noticed a problem. The lane I needed to turn into had a car in it. And the car was facing the wrong direction. It was waiting for a light, too, but it was in the wrong lane.

I had the arrow, and it was my turn to go through the intersection, but I had nowhere to go. I couldn’t get around the misplaced car because of the curbs, and I wasn’t sure if the person was aware she was in the wrong. I no longer had the option to go straight. I was committed to go in a direction I could not access.

As I quickly considered my options, the misplaced driver realized she was in the wrong lane. She began to back up, while another car began to merge then paused. I pulled into the lane as the other car backed up. It was a puzzle we had to untangle. I was at least out of the way, and it wasn’t long before everyone was repositioned in the correct lanes and directions.

Everyone had been paying enough attention that there was no emergency, no accidents. We all seemed fairly patient and smiled and waved to each other in appreciation and courtesy. No one lost their temper.

We often don’t like people to get in our way. We want to go where we want to go and we don’t want to be inconvenienced. When people don’t do what we expect them to do, we often get annoyed. We quickly forget the times our own mistakes and bad decisions have impacted others.

Someone will get in your way today. And you’ll get into someone’s way.

Pay attention. Be patient. Be willing to back up or wait. Be willing to admit you’re wrong. Be flexible and considerate.

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