The Decoded | No. 7 | By Lisanne
IT MATTERS not how angry the man. How charged with punishments his soul. Rarely do we see what we need to see.
When I was younger, my parents shared a story with me of what we’d later call the story of the angry man. The person must have been somewhere in his 50s or 60s, not clear how old exactly, but standing at a crossroads where they used to live. The man had given himself the daily task to give instructions to the cyclists and cars that were moving by on how to drive, and at what speed.
His directions were not helpful as traffic signs speak for themselves, and on a busy day his gestures were mingled with frustration — his hands expressing fierce but unclear language.
It was not pleasant to drive by and be yelled at, but it’s surprising how fast you can get used to someone with his temper being there, present from early morning to night. Day in and day out.
One day he was gone and never returned. Months later a local journalist took breath of the story and published an in-depth article about the man, sharing that he had lost his son in a car accident years before.
On that same crossroads.
The perception of the angry man immediately shifted to a father that must have been broken for life and it’s an example of how you can’t help but feel a bit of shame for your own impatience.
The book What Happened to you is about that: about how the experiences in life shape us and the people we become. How we oftentimes get to see little snippets of people by the way they behave – judging it while failing to see the bigger picture. The book suggests to ask questions like what happened to you? Instead of wasting time on questions like, what’s wrong with them? More often than not, we miss important clues of the journeys people are on, whose lives we haven’t lived.
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