An Unexpected Journey

We often have no idea what is going on because we can't see it.
Photo by Lucas Beck on Unsplash
I don't make a habit of picking up women but this morning I met Veronica. As I was driving to work I was stopped at the usual traffic lights when she caught my eye. She walked over, knocked on my passenger window and gestured for me to unwind the window.

Veronica was trying to get to the high street but was a little lost and wondered if I could drop her off nearby. Aware that the red traffic light could turn green at any moment I opened the door and told her to get in quickly. I put on my mask.

Now well into her 80s, Veronica is no spring chicken and it took her quite some time to climb in backwards, lift her bag and walking stick in and then slide her legs and feet in. It took even longer for her to reach back out and shut the passenger door.

About half way through this tricky manoeuvre the traffic light turned green, and while the guy behind me could see exactly what was going on, the driver of the car behind him had no idea and after about 3 seconds of waiting started to let me know of his frustrations via his very impressive car horn. Others soon followed. An orchestra of English horns.

This communication carried on as Veronica completed her rotations and managed to close the door. The lights were still green and I drove off feeling slightly bad for the drivers behind but also a bit miffed that I was being aurally harrassed for being a good citizen.

The thing is, we don't always see the big picture, or even the same picture when we meet in person, pass in the street, or communicate online with others. We often have no idea what is going on because we can't see it.

Back in the 80s The Guardian ran a TV advert that showed a skinhead running toward an man carrying a briefcase, and aggressively grabbing him. What we didn't see was the crane above the man's head about to drop a shed load of rubble. (

I read a tweet recently that basically said 'Remember that everyone you meet today is struggling with things that you don’t know or understand. Try to lighten their load rather than increase it'. We only know in part. We don't fully know.

I think I helped lighten Veronica a little but I'm not sure about the other drivers. In fact one of them was so keen to let me know how heavy he now felt that he made sure that he was no longer behind me at the next set of lights, giving another little toot of his (now annoying) horn in joy as he did so.

At the end of our short journey I pulled over into a bus lane, jumped out and opened the door for my new friend. Veronica took even longer to get out of the car than she did getting in and I started to fear that I might upset as few more drivers, but as she wandered off she told me to make the most of my youth (as I said earlier, I was wearing a mask) and said that she would remember me in her prayers. She may not remember the other drivers though.

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