Maybe a middle of the night phone call caused him to pack up his sleeping two year old to make a trip he hadn’t planned.
Maybe it caused him to max out his credit card to end up on that flight, next to you.
Maybe instead of giving him dirty looks and rolling your eyes at the other passengers you play peek-a-boo with his crabby little one, or offer him a kind smile?
Maybe you do that one thing before you get off a plane and into the waiting arms of your own father who is (unlike this man’s father) still very much alive…
Maybe on this day (one you consider important because you are counting down to your big shiny Christmas) she finds herself stopping off at the store and hoping she has enough.
Maybe, since the layoff, money has been tight.
Maybe these are harder times than she’s ever faced and maybe she is just praying the money in her wallet will be enough.
Maybe while she counts out the change to pay for that milk and bread, you could quit sighing loudly and stomping your foot?
Maybe you could pause – while she counts dimes – to count your blessings?
Maybe you walk out of the store (loaded down with your purchases) a few minutes behind in the schedule you set and yet, maybe, counting your blessings was time well spent?
Maybe her husband is away on business ..or overseas ..or just..away.
Maybe she is already overwhelmed and just desperate to not add “car in shop” to a growing list of obstacles she faces as a single mom.
Maybe she is new in town and therefore not quite as adept at driving on these snowy roads as you.
Maybe you could just calm down?
Maybe her slow and cautious driving could remind you that you are not a superhuman either and instead of riding her bumper, flashing your brights, and flipping her off, maybe you could slow down too?
Maybe you arrive at your Christmas party 5 minutes later than you planned but you arrive — unharmed and calm.
Maybe that extra smile, that moment taken to be grateful or to slow down, will mean everything to someone?
Maybe you should remember that you don’t know everything, that your life isn’t more important than someone else’s life, and that you have no idea what storm they are facing right now.
Maybe you just need to get over yourself?
Maybe the truth is we could all just get over ourselves a little bit?
Because maybe, as a society, we have completely forgotten what the spirit of Christmas really is?
Maybe we are missing the point?