Months ago, around 6am, I'd hear this awful revving and screeching from a car not far from outside my bedroom window. It sounded like the driver was pumping the gas for several minutes followed by terrible, high-pitched grinding and, finally, merciful silence as they drove off.
Every morning. And it annoyed the hell out of me every morning. Who does this person think they are? Who does that?
And one morning, after a month of this, in the midst of again being woken up, I got really annoyed, threw on my bathrobe, and marched out to the back of my apartment building ready to give this person a talking-to on being considerate to neighbors.
I got back there and came across the sorriest looking vehicle I've seen in a long while, and this older gentleman standing next to it, concentrated on starting it. He looks up at me in my bathrobe and disheveled hair with the most apologetic--dare I say, humiliated-- expression.
And I immediately felt terrible for being angry. This gentleman was on his way to work somewhere--same godawful, shitty time every morning--and it was just obvious he felt so embarrassed about the racket his shitty car was making.
And he said with deep empathy: "I'm sorry. I hope I didn't wake you."

I lied. Because of course I did. And he knew I was lying.

"No, not at all. I was just coming back here to see if someone might need help getting their car started. You never know."

Ugh, weak response.
He flashed this sad smile and said he was fine and sorry again for the noise. I introduced myself + shook his hand, nonchalant, as though my daily habit were walking outside my apartment in my bathrobe at 6am, and he just happened to be on my route this particular morning.
I've thought a lot about this interaction in the past few months, and whenever I get angry--and there's quite a number of reasons to inspire such a feeling in our current political environment--I think of this lovely human being struggling with a clunker to get to work...
...and how very easy it was for my anger to evaporate instantly once I understood what was happening and how easy it is to not be an asshole that assumes the worst over a mild inconvenience.
This morning, again at 6am, same noises, and as with every morning since our interaction, no anger. No annoyance. Just peaceful acceptance. I'm off today from a job I really love, and he clearly has to go to his after the same damn start-up routine. I almost wanna hug him.
Everyone's fighting battles. Try to acknowledge that when you can. /thread
UPDATE: A lot of you have inquired about starting a GoFundMe. It's definitely crossed my mind, but I need to think through the ethics first. I have no idea what this gentleman wants, and I don't want to assume anything. I'll take some time to think over on how best to proceed.
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