Are We Doing The Best We Can?

Here is a thing that happened to me today:

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I was at a red light.

The cars to my left also had a red light.

I started to make my right-turn-on-red and BOOM!— the line of cars into which I was turning got a green light.

I tried to step on it a little, feeling bad for now looking like I pulled out in front of them, but they had a red light when I had committed to turning!

The lady behind me (“Crazy Lady”) was apparently quite personally offended by my turn.

I watched her in my rearview as she threw up her hands and mouthed something, shaking her head and honking her horn.

So many thoughts were going through my mind:

  1. I have been you before, Crazy Lady, and to the person that was me— I’m sorry I overreacted.

  2. I am a person, too, Crazy Lady. I make mistakes and poor decisions from time to time. Forgive me.

  3. I know you clearly don’t think so in this moment, Crazy Lady, but I’m doing the best I can.

This video of Russell Brand and Brene Brown also came to mind & is so powerful to me.

They discuss the question “Are people truly doing the best they can?”

In this traffic incident, my “best” was apparently quite inconvenient to one lady. I’m sure she didn’t think this was my “best.”

So… are people doing the best they can?

Brene’s husband had a response that I’ll never forget & has made me think so differently. He said:

“Are people doing the best they can? I have no idea. But I do know that my life is better when I assume that they are.”

What changes for you when you assume that everyone is doing the best they can?

Even when (especially when) that “best” isn’t “good enough” for you.