Somewhere around 20 years ago I hit a car.  We were at a red light, him in front of me. Light went green, I went, he didn’t. Something like that. Been a long time to remember.

But what I do remember is getting out of the car, not knowing how he’d react.

“Don’t worry about it. Just be careful.”

And that was that.

I often think of the seed that was planted that day. Easy come, easy go.

Did I dent his bumper? Probably a titch.  Significantly? Definitely not.  So why make a fuss? Just because society grooms us to overact to everything?

For the most part, I let little things go. Built a reaction muscle that when something is stressful I narrow if it really matters. Usually it doesn’t.

Took my son skiing yesterday. As we buckled up in the parking lot to head home for the night, a dad was guiding his son to backup their SUV. The kid ran right into me.

car backed into me

I could see the dad die inside.

I hopped out and, without even looking at potential damage, told him “Don’t worry about it.”

He kinda’ just sat there, guessing pleasantly confused.

“You sure? Can I at least give you $20 or something?”

The father couldn’t stop saying “thank you” enough.

I waited until he left to check out the damage. Maybe 4” scuffed with 1” rubbed off. Does it really matter? No.  But I’ll bet that kid learned more from getting a break than getting yelled at.

Feels good returning that favor from decades ago.