Unexpected rays of sunshine

This past week has been extremely difficult for me. There are events that unfolded and left me feeling like I had been hit by a train. One particularly bad day, I was my way to pick my son Victor, while at a junction along Beyers Naude waiting for the traffic lights to turn green, something made me turn to the lane next to me, and I saw a woman and a man laugh while looking at me. I looked at them quizzically, wondering what had tickled them so much, and a little peeved that they could be so rude. I think I actually glared at them while making sure the car doors were locked. I’ve heard many ugly stories of people being distracted at traffic lights, only to fall prey to smash and grabs.

We are living in very difficult times. Some people have lost their jobs or loved ones to coronavirus. When we ushered in 2020 we hardly expected life would change so drastically and in such a space of time. Many people are just going through the motions while carrying heavy loads on their shoulders. Sometimes a kind gesture would go a really long way. It might make a difference between someone going to jump of a bridge and finding a bench to sit on to calm down and regroup.

The man then simulated pulling the corners of his mouth with his index fingers, a prompt for me to smile.  I just stared at them because at that moment I had absolutely nothing to smile about. Then the man made the praying hands gesture, still begging me to smile. I eventually smiled, and it was a really genuine smile. I don’t know where it came from, but it did come. They looked delighted, clapped their hands, wore goofy smiles and made thumbs up signs before driving off.

I wish I had looked in the mirror to see what motivated them to beg me to smile. I must have looked like a storm! The narrative makes it appear as if the encounter happened over 10 minutes, but it only lasted a few seconds, I’m sure. After that brief episode, my mood changed for better. I drove off feeling a lot less homicidal. So think twice before you lash out or flip the bird at someone on the road. People are fighting many battles and you never know what the person you meet is carrying other plate. I believe many road rage incidents in which people end up exchanging blows, or worse, shooting each other most likely don’t start at the point of impact. People would have carried their anger from somewhere else, then something triggers the reaction. I’m thankful I met that couple in the white truck.    

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


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