It started when she said, "It's okay; accidents happen." But I couldn't tear my eyes away from the abrasion I had inflicted across her left collarbone where the seatbelt held her safe at the moment our cars collided.
And when the good Samaritan soothingly repeated, "Everyone's okay; no real harm done," to quiet my regretful acknowledgement of fault, and when the policeman handed me the accident report, but didn't issue me a ticket. Even the kind tow-truck driver.
I was immersed in the love, care, and goodwill of total strangers, one of whom I had directly victimized head-on, and the rest who stepped in to help us get sorted out. I was surprised by the generosity of spirit from every single person I encountered that rainy day.
Now that I've had a few days to think about it, I find the way I was treated extraordinary. I want to live like that all the time, with that same generosity of spirit toward others. I want to "undo" someone else's thinking, the way that mine was undone. You see, I thought I deserved judgment for making a mistake. I thought I was the "bad guy" in want of punishment. I thought the lady who was not at fault should be treated better than I. Every single person who showed up showed me how distorted that thinking is.
So I've decided to be generous of spirit. It's a choice. It requires intention. How about we all agree to delete the word "deserve" from our heart and mind, and believe in the absolute worth of all humanity, , demonstrating love, care, and goodwill to every person we encounter. If we all did that, we'd look a lot like Jesus, I think.
During this holiday season and as we look to the New Year, let's do something outrageous, something where generosity has nothing to do with our pocketbooks and everything to do with our hearts. Happy Holidays!