Driving home from Jacksonville this afternoon around 4:30 pm, the traffic was beginning to build as I merged onto I-95 from 9B. An SUV just ahead of me signaled to merge in front of me, then hesitated for just a moment. I flashed my high beams, encouraging her to cut in front of me. A little wave out the window and she was on her way.
As I drove on, I thought to myself, “Why did I do that?” I’m not always that generous on the highway. More often than not I’m more like, “You’re not cutting front of me. You can merge when I pass. And good luck with that!” And I never think twice about it.
But today was different. I was feeling good, kind, friendly and compassionate. And you know why? I had just had a great experience in Jacksonville. I had to return to the Apple store to get a battery replaced in my MacBook, a necessary chore I hadn’t been looking forward to. When I got to town center, behold, I nabbed a parking spot right in front of the store. As I walked in, I was immediately greeted and my computer was taken in back for the replacement. I knew it would take two to three hours, so I had brought work to do. But no sooner did I sit down with my grande Sbux, when my phone rang. My computer was ready to pick up. I didn’t believe it. In less than thirty minutes? I listened to the message twice. Still dubious. I headed back to the store, found another very close parking spot, and picked up my computer. Yes, it took less than half an hour!
So, on the way home, having had a very positive experience, I was feeling very friendly on the road. You want to cut in? No problem! Have a great day! Whereas I often feel impatient and annoyed driving on the interstate, I was feeling pretty good today. My great experience translated into a great experience for others.
It’s a domino effect, isn’t it? Some initial act of kindness tips that first domino to begin a series of positive events. I made up my mind in that moment that I would try to be that first domino more often.