Have you ever noticed that many old people think that because of their years of ‘experience’ they are always right? Many are ready to jump to judgment with only the slightest bit of information. One recent group opinion exchange – I can’t call it a real discussion - concerned an eye-witness account of a driver who made a right-turn-on-red to head south from our development and then, once on the main road, made a U-turn and got the long green light to head north. Outraged, folks immediately pegged the driver as an inconsiderate, impatient speeder who just wanted to get ahead. And yes, it was an unwise, unsafe manoeuver, and yes, they may well be right that it was just a ploy to get ahead, but did anyone ever try to guess what might have been going on in that car to justify such a dumb move?
“Mert, you dumb cluck where in the Sam Hill do you think we’re goin’?”
“You said to the bank Maud.”
“Mert, you dumb cluck, I meant Founders, not Fifth Third! Turn around!”
And so Mert, the dumb cluck, instinctively made the instant U-turn.
Most of the time it’s good we can’t read each other’s minds, but in this case, if this was the case, it would have been very helpful. Really, it seems to me that it was more of a dumb move than a sly one. You can usually tell the speeders from the dumb clucks almost by the body language of the car. Too often I see someone pull a stupid move and I mutter “Idiot” or “I-D-Ote” or the proverbial AH – and not just the initials. But I’ve pulled a few stupid driving moves myself, and I hope the witnesses were a bit more kind.
I try not to be a Pollyanna, but this leads me to ask my fellow elders to be a bit more forgiving, not jump to judgment, and try to see the other side of a situation. Instead of getting annoyed and going off on a tangent it will be better for our innards if, in a similar situation, we give the other guy the benefit of the doubt and try to see the amusing side of things. Some day that dumb cluck could be one of ‘us’.