A Fly on the (Heart) Wall

It’s Friday. Time to link up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday. You can join in the fun HERE.

Prompt:  FLY

dreamstime_xs_21474778Photo Credit: Dreamstime

If we could be a fly on the wall of someone’s heart for a few moments, if we could take a peek into their day, would we choose to have more compassion for that person? 

I’m certain we would.  When we get a behind the curtain glimpse of someone’s story, their trials, and their wounds, we tend to show a little more grace.

Yesterday, I resisted the urge to be a jerk to another driver who was choosing to ride my bumper.  I was driving a stretch of road near my house where the speed limit is only 25.  The driver behind me was not only riding my bumper but she was making impatient hand motions.  I could see her creative and flailing dance in my rear view mirror.  Heck, she was tailing so close she might as well have been sitting in my backseat.  😉

Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind:  What a jerk!  Maybe I should just let my foot off the gas and go slower.  I’m sure her hands would become even more interesting!

You don’t know how hard it was for me to resist the urge to do that, I so wanted to!  I’ve been known to do that before.  It’s an easy and subtle way to give another person the finger without actually giving them the finger.  But, yesterday, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I couldn’t bring myself to sink to her jerk level.  Later in the morning, I came up with a phrase that I think I might repeat to myself whenever I find myself in that situation again.

Don’t be an ass…keep your foot on the gas!

(Maybe I should turn that phrase into a sticker and slap that onto my dashboard.  And then, I could make another one for the bumper lover behind me that says, don’t be an ass…take your foot off the gas!)

I posted the following status on Facebook and Twitter after it happened.

Confession: When the speed limit is 25 & someone rides my bumper it takes all the grace in the world not too slow down to 15. Especially when bumper lover throws hands up impatiently.

Most all the responses my friends left reflected what my typical knee jerk reaction would be too: Give them a little taste of their own “jerk” medicine.  Here’s a couple of my favorite comments…

Awwww, but being a jerk is so much fun!!! 😉

I would do a little slowing … then share some grace. Consider it a ‘patience’ teaching moment for the person behind.

I do slow down to 15!!!! Then I take my sweet, sweet time pulling into our driveway 🙂

I would slow down to 1 mph if someone like that was behind me. Just to see the smoke coming out of their ears!

I so get these comments and these reactions.  I saw a little of myself in each one of those comments.

We are quick to retaliate rather than to ignore or extend any type of grace.

But,  let me go back to my first thought this morning…

If we could be a fly on the wall of someone’s heart for a few moments, if we could peek into their day, would we choose to have more compassion for that person? 

I have no idea why the woman behind me yesterday was being such a jerk. I don’t know her story. But I do know that sometimes showing compassion (at least for me) is to simply choose to keep my foot on the gas.

What if today, when jerks cross our path, we simply choose not to react?

How hard is this for you to do? 


5 thoughts on “A Fly on the (Heart) Wall

  1. TC Larson|Nita Holiday

    I love your motto for when you’re tempted to dole out punishment to meanies driving behind you. We could all stand to be more patient and offer more grace, even on the road. Sometimes we get in, shut the door, and become a totally different person than we are outside the car. Fun take on the prompt. Glad I stopped by.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Thanks, TC! I think I should have titled it “When Grace flies out the window” 😉 That’s so true…sometimes we do become a different person in the car. I’m glad we have a choice every step of the way on how we react and choose to treat others.

  2. Aileen

    Re: your question, truth be told, I would need a lot of grace to give grace to a jerk. Very hard indeed and I’m the kind of person who follows rules, almost too strictly. But you are right, a lot of times, we would have given more kindness to people if we know their story. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for dropping by my site.

    Visiting from FMF 🙂

  3. Amy P Boyd

    I love your take on this prompt. I do believe that we find more grace and compassion when we know the behind the scenes story, but should it?

    I will be remembering your little motto next I head down the road with a tailgater following close behind.

    1. Eileen Post author

      That’s a good question, Amy. I don’t think knowing someone’s story should be a prerequisite to showing grace and compassion…but, sadly, I think we tend to dole it out way too sparingly in these kinds of situations.


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