The other day as I was stopped in heavy traffic on Colorado Boulevard (hardly an uncommon situation, as any Denverite with a car can attest), I witnessed something unusual. The driver behind me began maneuvering his large Jeep over the curb until its left tires were atop the narrow median. What did he think that was going to accomplish, I wondered – even if there wasn’t a street sign between him and the turn lane several cars ahead, he’d have to drive on the other side of the road to reach it. The silly things people do when they get impatient, I thought.
A few moments later, though, I heard the siren. An ambulance was coming up behind us, and the Jeep's driver was trying to get out of its way. As it was, the ambulance had to go around us on the other side of the road (which was clear at the moment); with so many cars stopped at a red light with no room to move, it wouldn’t have mattered if I (and the drivers ahead of me) had managed to get up onto that curb. Still, the guy in the Jeep, far from being a basket case, was trying to do what might have been the right thing under slightly different circumstances.
The application is clear enough, even if my illustration seems relatively trivial: Be quick to listen and slow to judge (even with *those* people – in fact, especially with *those* people); the person you’re looking down on might just see something that you don’t. Before you dismiss someone as a sinner (or idiot, or wingnut, or whatever), it pays to be certain that you really do know what you’re talking about.