“It’s not who’s right, it’s who’s left,” was a favorite saying of my grandpa’s. He used it in the context of driving, and I’ve been thinking about it more these days. If money were no object, I would hire a chauffeur to drive me around and I would never go to the movies with other people. Driving and sitting in a large auditorium with strangers are quick ways for me to lose faith in humanity. This past week, my wish to never drive again was reinforced with several nasty exchanges. One involved a man in a gigantic SUV getting incredibly upset that I used my turn-signal to switch lanes when he wanted to zip around the slower traffic. The other involved me making a right-turn while a guy looking at his phone didn’t notice and tried to merge where I was. Both ended with some ugly words mouthed and some ugly hand gestures exchanged. It’s not who’s right, it’s who’s left.
Frank has a saying about other drivers that goes something like they have to live with themselves. In the past, I’ve retorted that we have to live with them, too, but now I’ve tried to adopt his point of view. I have taken it to a different level, constructing elaborate stories of not making the team in high school and forever taking out disappointment on other drivers. Perhaps not the most gracious response… It’s not who’s right….
Thinking of my One Word for this year, I am seeing Grace pop up in places I wouldn’t have been as aware. I am allowing myself more grace in mothering, more grace during tax season, and more grace as I interact with those around me. The past week of driving reminded me how hard it is to extend grace to those who don’t give me grace. I want so badly to be right, even if it’s with a stranger over a lane change. The whole point of grace is that it is freely given – without earning it. It seems so much easier to forgive people I regularly do life with and so much harder to put myself in the shoes of those who I don’t know.
It’s not who’s right, it’s who’s left. Beyond driving, I need to remember this daily. As I read about people’s opinions on blogs and in the news; as I discuss faith and life with friends; as Frank and I talk politics, taxes, and parenting. Do I need to be right? How can I engage in friendly, meaningful discussions where I learn rather than teach?
So, while I’ve been more aware of grace around me and have been more conscientious of finding grace in my days, I am still working on showing grace and gracious generosity to humans around me. And, I’m trying to remember as I drive, as I talk, as do life with other people, it’s not about being right but being left to engage in grace.
How is your One Word going? Are you seeing it differently than you expected?