the tv and the sink.
the tv and the sink. in nearly every american home the living room is adjacent to the kitchen, often times with little to no obstruction. and i think every kid is familiar with the common situation in which someone (more than likely a parent) is in the kitchen washing dishes while someone else is in the living room watching the television. as a child i would always be sufficiently annoyed by a parents running the sink and clanging silverware while i am trying to hear the voices of the characters on screen. i always thought the person in the kitchen was being rude and inconsiderate, that they could watch their dishes later, but i couldn’t rewind this scene (simpler times). i thought they were in the wrong. but that all changed when i was the one with my hands covered in soap. suddenly clean dishes seemed far more important than useless entertainment. and from the side of my singular perspective, it’ll always seem that what i’m doing is more essential. self-interest.
this petty little example is one that carries little weight, but speaks to a bigger dynamic in the world. people will always excuse disrespect, until it’s directed at them. road rage. i never understood the point of getting mad at another person for making what is often such an insignificant mistake. on a simply personal level, the anger is in itself futile. it doesn’t bring any value. getting that worked up over the poor choices of others has simply never made much sense to me. and it never made sense because i always saw an individual in that other car. an individual who probably just made an honest mistake, a mistake that any one of us made done before, and will make again in the future. i think everybody wants to imagine the other driver as someone who is selfish and ignorant, as someone rude enough to justify all that hatred. but when you make that same mistake — when you hit the brakes just a bit too late or make a last-second turn — you’re just an innocent fool that slipped up and laughs it off. your apologetic regret never equals the rampant rage you once expelled for the same mistake. because you know yourself, and you know you meant no harm. you know that you’re human, and that humans make mistakes. empathy.