This afternoon, I drove to the vet to pick my dog up who’d been in for an an operation today. As I drove along, I was becoming increasing frustrated by the car in front of me whose driving was becoming affected by their use of a mobile phone. Thankfully as the traffic lights changed to green the phone went down and the driver paid attention to the road.
Not 200 m along, the traffic slowed for another red light, it was a crossing light.
A young black man took the opportunity to duck across the road between my car and the car in front as the traffic had stopped, he did this rather than cross at the lights which were further up.
No biggie from my perspective, I wasn’t going anywhere anyway.
However, the driver of the car in front was agitated by the young man doing this. So agitated that as he went to walk behind his car, the driver reversed back, like he was pretending to hit him.
The young man jumped. The car looked close from where I sat.
The driver yelling something over his shoulder, then drove off, mobile phone in hand making a call.
I couldn’t believe what I had just seen.
At a time when Manchester (I live under 5 miles from the city centre) is asking itself how do these things happen? I can’t help but ask myself if this is how little seeds are sown?
Judgements about other people, about what they do, how they walk, how they live their lives, the colour of their skin. And then an action is taken in righteous anger, one that affirms a judgement and makes someone feel better about themselves and what they think about the world. What they believe to be right.
But this is the trouble with judgement.
The driver had made one about the young man crossing the road.
Yet his own behaviour was questionable- well illegal and dangerous actually. But he couldn’t see it, all he could see was what he was angry about.
What made him think one action was more justifiable than another?
I don’t share this story to shame the man in the car, if i wanted to do that, I could have given you his number plate. But I do want to reflect in his actions.
I share it because I have been wondering how someone does an evil thing like blow up innocent children and adults? What has perpetuated that kind of hatred?
It is bonkers. Absolute bonkers.
But it is isn’t it?
When someone straps a bomb to their body.
When someone runs a truck into a crowd.
When some one hijacks a plane.
When a teen takes a high powered gun, and kills fellow their students and teachers.
When a white man pretends to back into a black teen crossing a road.
It all starts somewhere.
Thoughts lead to actions. Actions lead to consequences. Sometimes they are good. And sometimes they are down right rotten, now matter how well justified they are to the perpetrator.