This morning I stopped for a red light at a busy intersection. A rusted-out car pulled up in the lane next to me. The driver put his car in park and opened his door. As he got out of his car, I instinctively locked my doors. My pulse quickened as I waited for his next move. Surely this unscrupulous character was planning to yank open my passenger side door and steal my purse, my car—maybe even me. But the man walked up to the work truck ahead of him in line and lifted a forgotten hammer from the driver’s rear bumper. He raised it in the air so the truck driver could see it in his rear view mirror, then he placed it in the back of the truck. This man, who looked a little rough around the edges, wasn’t trying to carjack me, he was going out of his way to do a kind deed for a stranger. I felt ashamed of myself. I had judged someone based on the way he looked. I had judged someone due to my own irrational fear. I had judged someone unfairly.
On my Artist’s Journey, I try to see the beauty in nature, people, or even in ordinary objects, yet fear prevented me from seeing the beauty in an unsolicited act of kindness. In the future I will look a little closer, because sometimes beauty is hard to see. When you do find it—even in something as simple as a hammer—it’s breathtaking.
“Hammer”–ink and watercolor–from my sketchbook