Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Pesticides Guy

THIS MORNING, I ran past a guy applying pesticide to some shopping mall landscaping.  I thought I had steered far enough away. Ten seconds later, I felt the unmistakable sensation of pesticide in my throat, which lingered for a good minute and a half. 
Coming for you, runnerboy!

For a split-second I felt a flicker of annoyance at the guy. Catching myself, I was immediately reminded of the following from C.S. Lewis:
I am not angry-except perhaps for a moment before I come to my senses-with a man who trips me up by accident; I am angry with a man who tries to trip me up even if he does not succeed. Yet the first has hurt me and the second has not. Sometimes the behaviour which I call bad is not inconvenient to me at all, but the very opposite (1) 
I was not annoyed, except for a foolish moment, at guy trying to earn a buck, perhaps to feed his family. Had he intended to spray me? Of course not. Had he even seen me? Unlikely.
Get a grip, chap.

We daily encounter people spraying all kinds of poison (anger, ignorance, rudeness) in our direction.  It would take us a long way toward accepting our coworkers and family members, if we understood that, usually, people are spraying their poison unthinkingly and from a place of fear, anxiety and pressure. 

Perhaps we can, with a little effort and grace, give their behavior some context. Maybe, we can give them the same understanding we give ourselves and that we want for ourselves from others.  



___________
(1) Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity. Ch. 3, "The Reality of the Law."

2 comments:

Point2Jesus said...

Thanks of this Nader. Great tidbit.

Samuel Beshara said...

Great reminder!