So, as I was perusing Facebook this evening, just wasting my mind away while my baby nursed, I came across this post titled “Angry Notes Left on Stranger’s Windshields” with a caption about how hilarious it supposedly was. I instantly just felt sad for the world. I felt sad for every person who really thought this kind of thing was funny. I’m not a humor prude, I promise. But laughing about a human being verbally attacking another human being… that just doesn’t feel right to me. I took the liberty of actually reading these notes and my heart sank deeper with each one. The negativity was overwhelming and I saw a theme. The authors of every one of these notes had one thing in common, and that is that not one of them was seeing the owner of the car as a person. Every one of them was focused on themselves and viewing the owner of the other car as an obstacle, not as a human being with a life and feelings and struggles and thoughts… just like themselves. It didn’t seem they thought about the impact their notes would make outside of the hope that this obstacle would receive their rage and stay out of their way in the future. That’s really sad to me.
The fact is, we have a choice in how we view people and situations, and we have a choice in how we react. We can choose love/peace or we can choose hate/war. Here, we see some great examples of hate. And how might this affect the person receiving the note? It might make them angry, perpetuating the cycle of anger. They might choose to act vengefully. It might leave an emotional scar on a heart that is already pretty beat up. It might down their spirits for the day. Whatever it does, it’s not going to lift them up and inspire them to do good. No, they’re going to take whatever feeling this note left them with and that is what they are going to put out into the world that day. It may be that they yell at their child because they’re upset by the note. Maybe they’ll drive to work angry and flip off another driver. Perhaps they will lift themselves up by tearing someone else down, or maybe whatever work they do that day will be halfhearted and will not fully benefit those who receive it. Can you see what’s really happening here? A person chooses hate, they put hate into action by posting a hate note. Those negative vibrations reach into the heart of the receiver, who then passes them to another person. Each of those affected people pass it on as well, and on it goes. When you choose to speak abusively to someone, it doesn’t stop with that person. You create a whole lot of hurt in the world, and many believe whatever you put out will always come back to you.
Now, if you choose love/peace, you’ll get the same ripple effect. Showing a little grace and writing a note expressing your feelings and asking kindly for compliance is far more likely to get you the result you desire, you will be passing ripples of love throughout many people, and it will come back to you. There’s nothing wrong with the anger in this situation. Say someone takes my parking space at my apartment complex and I have to park down the street and tote four kids and 18 bags of groceries a block back home on a 90 degree day- I’m going to be upset. I pay for that parking space so that I don’t have to struggle like that. It’s okay to feel that way. But I can choose how I express myself. Maybe I write an honest but respectful note and to no avail because the same car is back in my space a week later. That really sucks. I guess it was pointless being nice, right? No. It is never pointless when we choose to send love out into the world. At this point I can take further action, but in a respectful way. Being loving doesn’t mean being a doormat, it simply means seeing other people as people and having compassion and understanding for them. Maybe I report them, or write another note, or kindly approach them as they’re leaving so they can see my face and see that I, too, am a real person with real feelings, but I can still choose love, because I am responsible for the energy I put out in this world. You can never go wrong with love, regardless of how it seems to have been received. Maybe nothing I do will effect the change I wish to see. That’s okay. We can’t make people be the way we want them to be. All we can do it love them as they are. In the situation I’ve described, I would be sad for this person who is choosing to go through life with so little regard for others. What a sad way of being. I bet this person doesn’t feel loved or loving. That breaks my heart and I would be sending them love and prayers. Even if none of the measures I take get this person out of my parking space permanently at least I’ll be in better shape than if I sent out ripples of hate and had that karma come washing back over me. I’ll take walking in the heat over that any day!