Some time ago my wife and I were returning home after enjoying dinner out with friends. We left the restaurant around 9:30 and were on the way to drop our friends off at their home.
At one point, we stopped at a traffic light behind a car we had been following. As the light turned, the car in front of us did not move. We sat through a second light change and the car remained in place. I was concerned that perhaps the individual may be having a mechanical issue or some type of physical problem so I decided to check in. As I approached the car, the driver put the window down, and I graciously inquired to see what the problem might be. In anger, the driver yelled at me, “Yes, I do have a problem, there is a dumb @#$%!& following me!” and sped away.
Shocked and dumbfounded, I went back to the car and told the others about the brief conversation. None of us could think of anything I had done to cause such a response.
My motives were genuine in wanting to help but I felt I was misunderstood. I wanted to clear things up but that was not possible.
Truth be known, when I believe my motives are right and then they are misunderstood or even rejected I have a tendency to want to pull back and wall myself off from that person or a similar situation. It is at those times I think of the encouragement found in the Paradoxical Commandments written by Dr. Kent Keith to “do it anyway”.
I will admit that ever since that evening, when there is an opportunity to provide assistance (especially to stranger), I think about my brief conversation with that driver and remind myself to “do it anyway”.