Polluting Our Lives
Yesterday, on my way to an incarcerated father’s class, I parked in the corner of a lot under a nice shade tree. I wanted to pause, take a few moments to review the lesson plan and still my thoughts. The weather was beautiful and I rolled down the windows, felt the cool breeze on my face and took a deep, cleansing breath of fresh air. It was a bit of needed down time in the midst of a busy day.
The moment didn’t last long. Out of nowhere a pick-up pulled rapidly around me and in front of my truck on the grass of someone’s lawn. Apparently he liked the shady spot as well and since there wasn’t a parking space covered by the shade he made one in the grass. I shook my head and tried my best to let his perceived rudeness, and the irritation rising inside of me, go. Shifting my focus back to what I was doing, I took a couple more deep breaths and realized the driver had also lit up a cigarette. The smoke from the it was wafting on the wind into the cab of my truck. Sigh! My irritation level began climbing again and so I made the decision it was time to go. I didn’t honk my horn, utter a harsh word or peel out of the parking lot, I simply left. As I drove to the County Jail I thought about the pick-up driver and how some people can drastically change an environment.
Wisdom teaches us to be careful about the people we allow to be influences on our lives. There are folks who bring love, grace, positive traits and help us become better people. However, there are also those who bring out the worst in us. Through negativity, hostility, insults of others, feeding on our fears, insecurities, biases and pain. They pollute our minds, emotions and spirits.
It’s not easy to begin filtering people’s influence out of our lives. We may be hesitant because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or if they’ve been a friend and confidant for a long time. However, the ability to discern who brings stillness, peace and wisdom into our environment and who doesn’t is important and needed.