April 01, 2009

Some Small Stuff by Brenda Leyland

"Don't carry a grudge;
while you're carrying the grudge,
the other guy's out dancing."
Buddy Hackett

I used to get grumpy about the rude and careless drivers let loose out in traffic. No doubt you can picture it. There's some guy butting into traffic, weaving in and out like he owns the road, cutting people off. That action would irritate me to no end, and as the proverbial steam came out my ears, I'd yell 'genteel' words really loud at him. 'You stupid idiot' rolled too easily from my otherwise kindly lips.

Can he hear me? Does he care? No! He's long gone in a puff of diesel, totally oblivious to my warm feelings. And, should he be aware, he's probably displaying his own colourful sign language to indicate just how much he doesn't care. So, who is left irritated with an upset stomach? Me... certainly not the guy with the bad driving habits!

One day, it finally clicked on my lightning quick mind, this whole thing probably falls under some of that "small stuff" Richard Carlson talks about in his book Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. And why allow myself to get so irate? I can't do anything about the other guy's choices; I can only do something about my own. Which means I can choose to quit badmouthing the guy -- even if he can't hear me -- and I can let go of the right to be offended at his lack of consideration. Just let it go.

This decision has completely changed my commuting experiences. I'm so much more relaxed and driving out there, even in traffic jams, is a much more enjoyable. For me, it's been another stepping stone in my journey to making my life more beautiful and more in tune with Kingdom love.

Want to come along for the ride?

Brenda writes to inspire women to live more beautifully. She writes a monthly newsletter for Mary Kay consultants. When she's not sweating the small stuff, Brenda's enjoys blogging, sharing heart-to-heart conversations over coffee, and spending time with her newly-retired husband.


  1. I can relate. I don't drive, but the lesson can be applied to all kinds of situations and I appreciate the reminder.

    Blessings on you.

  2. You're so right, Brenda. What I try to do is willingly let go of the road-rage seeds and equally willingly offer a prayer for that driver's day (and protection for him/her and the other drivers on the road). The more I practice, the more genuine my prayer feels, and it suits my sense of humour to repay with a blessing rather than a curse.

  3. Joanna, I enjoyed your insights and connected with your phrase 'road-rage seeds'. Now, those are seeds on which we'd want a total crop failure!

    And I chuckled when you mentioned your sense of humour kicking in, because I've found that too!

  4. Your piece is so practical. YOu could say that our driving "faith" is where the rubber meets the road. It's a good reminder, thanks!Pam M.


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