Monday, April 2, 2012

day 2 post with wego's health challenge

"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." --- Rudyard Kipling

I wish I could say I always do exactly this. That would not be true. What is true for me is that I do always prefer to do so. And what is also true is that it does always save so much trouble. On the surface, for me this has always suggested that thinking ill of someone and being wrong could cause all sorts of trouble, and this I still believe to be true. It does have other layers though and reminds me of a conversation with GK a couple of days ago.

We were joking recently while driving about the probable direction the car to our right would take. Odd, I know, but we are a bit weird. We're entertained, when driving a route nearby, with one of the lanes that begins and ends rather quickly. The purpose of the lane is to allow drivers who will turn right to continue on without adding to the long line of cars continuing on the same road. The lane is directly connected to that particular exit. It ends there. Should be a simple driving exercise, but people often, very often, use it to pass the cars in the lane that continues on. It's annoying and can be downright dangerous when drivers challenge one another for position. (I shall refrain from discussing how often I may have been a passenger in one of those challenging cars, the ones going straight, never the ones passing on the right.) Two cars had just passed us on the right as we were following a slow procession of vehicles up the overpass ahead. "Are they turning right or cutting in ahead?" I asked in our usual let's make a wager on this mode. GK laughed. With some slightly descriptive language that need not be repeated, he indicated that the drivers' intentions were to pass on the right and squeeze into the lane ahead of us. I always say they'll turn. In that setting, I always expect the best, that they're turning right and using the lane as intended. Wish I could say I'm always right, but we all know better than that. This day, however, I was right. No forcing their way into an already slow lane of traffic. The cars veered right and exited. We laughed; he may have accused me of being complicit in their actions. Silly talk. But as we talked about it then, I realized very clearly why I always make the choice I do in our little "bets." If I'm right, when I win, I get to feel good about it. I get to acknowledge the courtesy of the drivers, their willingness to follow the rules of the road and contribute to the safety of all involved, and I get to be right.

It's far nicer to be right and feel good about it, than it is to be right in the knowledge that, yet again, people or an individual person, has let you down. That's a bonus for expecting the best.

Granted, this would appear to have little to nothing to do with food or health on the surface. We all know, or at least suspect, that our health has far more to do with our minds and our attitudes and our full acceptance a connection with others than we often admit. Thank you, Rudyard Kipling, I love this quote. And thank you, WEGO, for this second writers' challenge to choose a favorite quote and write about it.


  1. that reminds me of another CS Lewis quote (which I can't find) but basically saying pretend that you like others until you do... or something like that... to basically give people the benefit of the doubt instead of immediately judging them. It's a hard thing to do. I think we are raised to immediately judge people by clothing, how they speak, their habits, etc... instead of really learning to know the person instead.

  2. Yes, I know exactly what you mean about judging. It may be a survival instinct that could have outlived its usefulness. CS Lewis is a great source, too.


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