* "Chew on This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder" is a book of inspirational short stories by Gary Brock and Kelly Tuck, and is available for purchase here!
*Words of wisdom for inspirational thought are at the end of the story!
Bumper stickers are interesting. I have always figured they tell us something about the driver’s character, morals, beliefs, or a projection they want to share with the world. The more I’ve compared the words of some bumper stickers to the actions of the drivers who own them, the more I’m convinced that, as usual, talk is cheap and the picture they present can immediately erase the words displayed on their bumper.
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The traffic light at the highway intersection had just turned red. As I was braking to a stop, the bumper sticker of the vehicle a car’s length ahead of me in the next lane over caught my eye. It was cut out in the shape of a car with the word TEXT printed inside of it. Around the word was a large red circle with a red diagonal line crossing though it – the universal NO sign of traffic law.
What a great bumper sticker, I thought, nodding slightly. That’s a great reminder to anyone who happens to be behind this car – don’t text and drive. While I waited for the light to change my eyes wandered, and I found myself glancing over to the car…only to notice that the driver’s head was angled down. Odd. There’s no way he’ll be able to see the light when it changes if he keeps that up.
The light flashed green and the bumper stickered car remained frozen in place, even after the vehicle in front of it, as well as the other lanes, moved forward. Out of curiosity, I casually looked over at the “no text and drive” car to see the driver’s fingers flying across his phone.
Horns began blaring from over my left shoulder as I headed through the intersection, and all of a sudden, “no text and drive” zoomed past me in an attempt to make up for lost time or to put some distance in between himself and the irritated drivers behind him.
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I happened to notice the car in front of me had a FOLLOW ME TO CHURCH bumper sticker and a HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS sticker on either side of its license plate. Out of nowhere, brake lights lit up in front of me and I slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision. Heart pounding, I watched in amazement as the driver in front of me threw their hands up in frustration before rolling down the window to yell out several curses and profanities. After a few seconds, the driver veered over onto the curb and aggressively drove around the car in front of it, who had apparently missed their opportunity to make a left hand turn against oncoming traffic. As I man of faith myself, I pondered on the religious bumper stickers and the visual and verbal display of agitation and displeasure. No part of that came close to “loving thy neighbor.”
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While I pulled into a grocery store parking space, I noticed a rather expensive, shiny, brand new foreign automobile directly across from me. Being somewhat of a car buff, I quickly realized the vehicle was an international purchase that had to have been shipped in as this model was not sold in the United States. Admiring the vehicle as I headed into the store, the sticker plastered to the rearview mirror caught my eye. My eyebrows scrunched together in confusion. An American flag with the words BUY AMERICAN – BE AMERICAN replacing the stars stared back at me. It wasn’t until I was turning to leave that an additional sticker caught my eye beside the other reading, SAVE GAS…WALK. Shaking my head and chuckling at the blatant irony of both stickers, I continued my trek into the grocery store.
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Now I ask the question are we what we say or what we do? Isn’t it true that one is what they do, not what they say they will do? If we say one thing and do another what value can be put in our words? Do we walk the talk or just talk the talk? Have we forgotten to say what we mean and mean what we say, or is it just do what we say and not what we do? Behavior analytics teaches us to pay attention to what users do and not what they say; by their actions they show who they are. My bumper sticker observations remind me that when deeds speak, words are nothing. This reminds me of the wise words my grandmother spoke. She said…
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IF YOU’RE GONNA TALK IT,
WELL, HONEY, YOU GOTTA WALK IT
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*Chew On This: Fifty-Two Inspirational Points to Ponder is available for purchase here!