Be kind

Cycling home while avoiding the rain (just about) I was feeling rather annoyed that my route was slowed by a dog strolling in the cycle path alongside its owner (who was cycling, slowly, on the footpath bit) and determinedly meandering to block my path. I swore under my breath.

10 minutes later a driver decided that they needed to shout, beep and rant at me to get into the cycle lane. Apparently, the cycle lane being blocked by a van who’d parked there wasn’t a good enough reason for me to drift into the Big Road.

I guess I got my comeuppance, and it was a good reminder about the value of a bit of perspective. The dog cost me about 20 seconds and the driver wasn’t delayed at all (because we were both stationary behind another van!).

I’ve been reflecting a bit on proportionality of late.

There’s some seriously Big Stuff going on. I struggle to listen to news from Ukraine without shedding a tear. And casework I read is often a stark reminder of the genuine and huge challenges that many people in one of the world’s richest countries are facing every day.

But I worry that too often small things end up turned into the End Of Days, with collateral damage to relationships and trust that have far more significant consequences and impact. It feels that this is getting amplified hugely as we all try to make sense of how very different the world feels now compared to a few years ago. I’m wondering how we can remember that a little bit of realism, perspective and looking for common ground will usually make things better for everyone.

My autumnal resolution: be kind.