An old and dear friend of mine and I were talking and she mentioned that she chose to “take the high road” regarding an incident. She was taught by her family to take the high road when someone had done her wrong. I have learned through the years that this does not mean that you let someone walk over you, but that you choose to keep your dignity and be an example to others while hopefully making it a teachable moment. I just so happen to have had an opportunity to take the high road this past week.
It was Friday afternoon and I went my usual route to pick my children up after school. We had the windows down in the car because the weather was really nice. I was asking the kids about their day as we circled around the school parking lot and a man started to back out close to my car. He immediately yelled “You need to watch where you are going” in a very rude voice. This caught me off guard as I was in the right of way. He continued to yell at me. I told him I was in the right and I couldn’t back up even if I wanted to because there was a line of cars behind me. Another mother was in a car next to me and saw the whole incident and started defending me telling the man he had no reason to be yelling at me, that I was in the right, and he needed anger management classes. As I drove off he called me a “little b**ch.” Well, that really made me upset so I stopped my car and told him that that was unacceptable and to not speak to me that way in front of my children and to think about his child in his car as well. He then started video taping my car while I drove off as if I had done something wrong. The kids and I wrote down his license plate number and I decided to leave the situation instead of staying in it. My children and the child that was in the man’s car had to witness this incident which was unfortunate. I used the incident as a teachable moment for my children. My daughter asked me why I was being polite to the rude man and I told my children that I had to let it go. My daughter was baffled by this. She wanted to know how I could let something go that was no fault of my own. I told her I was upset but that it wouldn’t do any good to stay upset and let the rude man ruin our day. I guess I am growing in being able to take the high road because I said a silent prayer for the man a little while later which is not something I would have been able to do in the past. I thought of Immaculée Ilibagiza who I had just met two weeks prior to this incident. I thought if she can forgive the atrocities that she faced, I can surely put this incident behind me, pray for the man, and let it go. To be honest, it took some effort, my body was in fight or flight mode and was heated for about an hour after the incident, but I was able to let it go.
This is just a small example of much larger incidences that occur in our lives. I believe we are given opportunities to learn and grow from these situations and it all depends on how we respond. It is our choice as to how we will respond when we are attacked and it is no fault of our own. With years of practice, I chose the high road.
Have you had an incident where you chose the high road and learned and taught another?
“Take the high road; the view is much better.” ~Unknown
“Never sacrifice your class to get even with someone who has none. Let them have the gutter. You take the high road.” ~ Unknown
“Always take the high road; the benefits may not be immediate, but they are inevitable.” ~ J.J. Goldwag