Every time my backyard neighbour has started his mower this year I have cringed. Not because I feel that having a gas powered motor is unacceptable, but because their particular mower is a gas powered ride-on mower. So I’ve grumbled, given dirty looks thru the fence, sighed heavily, and tweeted my displeasure. Who really needs a ride on mower in the city? Yes, we have largish lots for the city, but they are still city lots, not huge. The saving grace here is that it takes about 90 seconds for them to mow, after which I mostly forget about the mower. Mostly.
I like to think that I am a pretty open minded person, and about many things I am. The line blurs when it comes to topics that I am more passionate about; the lils, my family, my job and crime victims, wine, my sports teams, and the environment. Here, I tend to draw a line in the sand and seldom waiver from my chosen point. So this mower has bugged me. It seems like an extreme tool to do a simple job, polluting as it goes.
This is where the mostly forgetting about the mower comes in. I don’t really forget and talk to people about it. I think that this is my way of processing, trying to work through my displeasure about the neighbour’s choice. In some way I think that I am also seeking to validate my opinion. For the most part, people voice their agreement.
Last weekend my sister and her family were over for lunch. In the course of our discussions, I
called the neighbour out for mentioned the lawnmower. My brother-in-law thought about it for a minute and then came up with about six reasons why they might have this mower, some of which I believe not to be the case, and some of which I don’t know whether or not they apply. The fact that he came up with these reasons highlighted for me that I had been way too fast to judge without the whole story, and that I need to remember that my perception of a situation is not necessarily the right viewpoint. I am not sure if he intended to show me this flaw in my thinking, or if it was just a consequence of his openmindedness, but I am so happy we had the discussion. Happy and thankful that he helped to broaden my perspective a little.