Thursday, December 17, 2009

It Pays To Be Nice

I know often it doesn't seem that way, but today being nice saved me.

I was driving from church to the grocery store, on my way to get the last of the food for our high school youth group Christmas party on Sunday as well as lunch (which I actually ended up forgetting, go figure). Not far into the short trip, I came to a four-way intersection and stopped for the red light. There was one car across from me, with her left turn-signal on.

I felt myself easing off the brake a little, ready to go before she could turn once the light turned green. Then I noticed a few cars pulling up behind me, and decided that I'd let her go so she wouldn't have to wait for all of us to pass.

The light turned green, and I waved her on. I'm not sure if she saw the gesture, but perhaps my lack of movement forward gave her a clue that I might be letting her turn. She started to creep forward...and a car sped through the intersection from the cross street, against the red, just missing her front bumper.

No one honked as I flashed my lights to let her know I really was letting her turn in front of me. She threw me a wave, looking understandably startled. As I drove away, I realized that had I not stopped to let her turn, had I rushed to "beat" her as I'd originally been planning, I most likely would've been right in the middle of that intersection and been t-boned by the car running the red light. While he would've hit my passenger side, and so my injuries might not have been fatal, who knows whether he would've pushed my car into something else (like a tree or telephone pole or another car) that could've cause more damage to me. Either way, my (just purchased!) car would've been totaled and I probably would've ended up in the hospital at the very least.

But I managed to avoid all that, just by being nice.

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