The Parable of Five Crosswalks

crosswalkWill is a kind young man. He goes out of his way to be kind to other people, to look them in the eye, and to smile. He seeks to treat everyone as he would want to be treated.

On this Tuesday afternoon, Will was headed to work at the local bookstore. The store was at the end of long, modern strip mall. Every day, as was his custom, Will came in at the opposite end of the mall. He has to cross five cross walks to reach the store.

At the first crosswalk, Will encountered a mother with two small children. He smiled and waved them across.

At the second crosswalk, Will waited patiently as an elderly man with a walker slowly made his way across. He smiled at Will and mouthed, “Thank you.”

The third crosswalk presented a young woman loaded down with bags. He looked at the clock on his phone, now concerned he might be late for work. The young woman smiled appreciatively as he waved her across.

As he approached the fourth crosswalk, he noticed a car that had patiently allowed several cars to turn in front of him. He stopped and let the car go, as the clock turned to 3:00. He was now officially late.

He approached the fifth crosswalk, now feeling some stress. As he approached, he saw man exiting the store and heading toward the crosswalk. It was one of those 50/50 calls. You’ve had them. Should you beat the pedestrian or wait?

Will accelerated slightly through the crosswalk. The man ran out and kicked the back of his car. He shouted that Will was a selfish a$sh*le. Then he yelled something about how selfish people Will’s age are.

You’re probably thinking what a jerk. How judgmental. You’re right.

Let’s be honest, though. How often in life are we the person at that fifth crosswalk?

Someone cuts us off in traffic. Someone holds a different political view than us. We don’t have any context. For all we know, that person could have just proverbially let four other people cross and he might be late for work. We judge that person, quickly and finally, based on one thing.

If you’re like me, you’re complicated. Far too complicated to be summed up by one action, one belief, or one word. Why don’t we give others the benefit of that doubt? Why do t we think a little more before we oversimplify other human beings and judge them based on practically nothing.

Maybe the next time you’re ready for swift summary judgment, you’ll stop and wonder about the other four crosswalks.

Be the person you came to the planet to be.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and the author of the author of Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, the first in a alternative history trilogy.

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About Ray Davis

Ray Davis is an author and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. His latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening trilogy - speculative fiction series focusing the issues of humanity's past and future. The series is heavily influenced by the science fiction genre. Book 1 - Revelation - is now available - http://www.AATrilogy.com. Ray has written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential. In 2007, Ray founded The Affirmation Spot - a website offering downloadable mp3 motivational tools and affirmations. http://www.theaffirmationspot.com. Ray began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. His thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, he has melded these ideas into his own philosophy on self-development. He has written and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve his own life and has a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. In 2010 he authored an eBook titled The Power to Be You: 417 Original Daily Thoughts for Personal Empowerment. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Louisburg, KS with his wife, April, two grown stepkids, and his black lab, Mia.
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