There’s an amusing saying that goes like this: “I’m unique, just like everyone else.” It made me smile the first time I heard it. It sounds contradictory, but there’s a lot of truth to it. We’re all unique in one way or another, and it’s our differences that make life interesting. In other ways, we’re pretty much the same. It’s universal, for instance, that we hate being stuck in traffic. Me, I don’t handle that well. I find myself having bad (if not evil) feelings toward the other drivers, particularly those drivers that don’t merge well or pass others on the shoulder. And, though I hate to admit it, I sometimes get annoyed at my wife for not being as angry at the traffic as I am.
We travel from PA to NY often, leaving by 6:30 am on Saturday to beat the traffic on the George Washington Bridge. That works out well. Coming back on Sunday, we’re not so lucky. Leaving pre-dawn would mean not seeing the kids, and leaving any other time means we’ll hit traffic. We usually opt for the traffic.
Occasionally, being stuck in traffic has provided an opportunity to do a small bit of good. On the Cross Bronx Expressway during traffic times, there are always homeless or otherwise needy people, standing on the highway, asking for help from the passing cars. My wife and I have taken to traveling with a care package to give: peanut butter, crackers, canned tuna, Breakfast Essentials, etc. The recipients seem grateful for our gift, thanking and blessing us. You could argue that we haven’t changed anything, but you’d be wrong. At the very least, we’ve changed our outlook.
I know we’re not unique, that more people than not want to help others. Yet doing something big can be overwhelming. So don’t start with something big. Do something small, something that helps just one person or just one family. And if everyone else is just like you, maybe the world will become a better place.