Bridging The Gap Between You And The Next Guy

Note to self: WHAT IF THEY CAN’T?

What if the paralysis they feel is beyond their control like my bridge freeze-up was beyond mine? What if their “can’t do it” is really a “can’t?”

The more I thought about it, the more empathetic I became.

As you begin this weekend, mull this idea over for me will you? Open your heart and mind to the notion that the person driving 5 miles an hour in front of you may be going that slowly because of their age or confusion. Maybe that guy you saw in the supermarket wearing a full face of make-up and dressed like a woman has something within that’s driving him beyond his control to appear that way. Maybe that old man cursing out those kids for walking across his lawn has only his wife’s flower beds to remember her by and can’t stand the thought of anything that disrespects her. Maybe the neighbor’s daughter that you hear about that never visits her mother has emotional scars from her childhood that prevent her from opening her heart to the risk of being hurt again.


Maybe we are all simply doing the best we can in the moment and the thing we are supposed to do, simply cannot be done. I’d never thought about it that way before until that day on the bridge. Maybe I can save you the trip.

Ron Ciancutti is the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He is not on Facebook, but he can be reached at

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