Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Morning coffee and sheriff's deputy

This morning I was pulled over by two squad cars for running a stop sign by my house. The interaction was instantly hostile. I was lectured to at length on "what cyclists always want." Before I continue, I'll say that nothing came of the stop, not even a warning or citation -- just the tongue lashing.

After a lot of questions and a lot of "I asked you a question"s, I revealed that I'd been in the service and we did a 180. The more aggressive of the two sheriff's deputies had just lost his son in military service. I don't know how long ago, but I doubt it matters to him. Every heartbeat on planet earth must serve as a reminder to him of the one that's missing. And every life not lived to his standards, as he likely remembers his son doing, must seem the greatest waste. And I can imagine how easy it would be to resent that perceived waste.

I should forever treat everyone with the compassion and patience I reserve for those enduring tragedy. And the deputy should approach everyone with the respect and consideration he reserves for those that remind him of his son.

At least I can control one of those "shoulds."