The Cure for Road Rage.

Via on Nov 21, 2011

 

I’m one of those people that assumes I’m pretty cool headed behind the wheel, yet I’ve been humbled a lot lately.

While driving down a one lane street, a car came speeding up behind me honking and flashing it’s lights,  I thought “gee mister, take a chill pill we’re all in a rush”.  I was feeling particularly cranky and although I hate to admit it, I lifted my foot off the gas a little to teach him a lesson.

One block later, I passed the emergency vet clinic and watched in my rear-view mirror as the car zoomed in frantically behind me.  I immediately burst into tears as my heart flooded with shame.
Even today as a woman walked across the street slowly I thought “come on come on, what’s the big hold up?” only to finally get past her and notice her struggling to juggle her baby and her bag.

Again, I felt guilty as hell.  Even though I’ve really worked on myself over the years; here I am, still falling down behind my own wheel. 

Why does this happen to most all of us?  I believe it’s that we forget to think the best of people. 

When my 92 year old grandma would drive her car, she would pause at every intersection and honk her horn.  As she put it “just a little toot to let them know I’m here” my sister and I would double over in laughter.  To this day we fondly remember those driving with grandma moments, yet if one of us was behind an elderly woman we didn’t know doing this, we’d think she was nuts and most likely grumble that it was time for her license to be pulled.

Just last week I saw a man on a bike flying down the busiest street in my home town.  I thought to myself, “you nut, why don’t you use the sidewalk?”  As I passed him I saw that it was a friend of mine and immediately thought “oh, he must be in a hurry, I hope he stays safe on this road”.  Again, a stark example of thinking the worst of someone when we don’t know them, but having great patience when we do.

If the one degree of separation between us is true, then I’d say we’re all familiar with one another on some level.  Familiarity breeds patience, and patience leads to peace, not only in this world; but behind the wheel as well.

xo

~photo by Mantas Ruzveltas from freedigitalphotos .net

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About Tamara Star

Tamara Star believes happiness is not an end destination, but instead the ability to see the ordinary through eyes of wonder. If you let her, she'll show you how to take the life you're living and turn it into a life you'll love. Want more free scoop? Click here to subscribe to my mailing list She's an international best selling author, life coach, and the creator of the original 40-day Personal reboot program for women--a 6 week virtual deep dive into clearing the slate on what's blocking you from living a life you love. Find the description here.   Her global reach inspires over 30 million people a month through her programs, newsletters and teachings in 20 countries.    Connect with Tamara on her site Facebook or Twitter.    Tamara's work had been featured on The Huffington Post, Positively Positive, The News.com Australia, Blog Her, The Good Men Project, Yoga Mint, The Elephant Journal, Twine Magazine, Eat, Drink, Explore Radio, Think Simple Now, Boulder Life and Yoga Anonymous. 

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14 Responses to “The Cure for Road Rage.”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I am in love with this post.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. lizardyoga says:

    Good thoughts here and you are entirely right

  3. I agree with Tanya – love this post! I think you got to the heart of it here:

    "Again, a stark example of thinking the worst of someone when we don’t know them, but having great patience when we do."

    If we try to remember that everyone matters to someone, is someone's friend, or spouse, or child, maybe we would be more patient.

  4. __MikeG__ says:

    I think you are being too hard on yourself. Most people who drive aggressively are not going to an emergency vet. And that panicked driving can easily get people hurt or killed.

  5. Joe Sparks says:

    There is no situation in which the human being dosen't deserve your delight.

  6. [...] not even current words that have us tangled up and in conflict, it’s past words and arguments that never cleared and never went away, that continue to tie us up and strap us to [...]

  7. [...] pumped to start your day. Nothing too aggressive or anger inducing—we aren’t trying to start a solo mosh-pit session in our driver’s seat! Photo: [...]

  8. Jacqueline says:

    I did a Buddhist retreat that talked about this – it can also be because of self cherishing that you get so annoyed – we are so focused on ourselves and our opinions of things .

  9. DanielleDD says:

    Why on earth would you want a bike to fly down a sidewalk instead of a street?

  10. ladyfleur says:

    I think being inside a car brings out the worst in people. There's something about the isolation and semi-privacy that makes you less sympathetic to others around you. Not that it can't be frustrating to try to get through a crowd on a sidewalk, but because you're up close and face-to-face with others it raises the threshold where you get angry.

  11. AndC says:

    Bikes are legally vehicles and belong on the road. In many places it is against the law for bicyclists to be on the sidewalks (excluding little kids, of course.)

  12. Josh says:

    By the way, that cyclist probably wasn't on the sidewalk because sidewalks are an incredibly dangerous place to ride a bicycle, significantly *more* dangerous than riding in the street. Drivers aren't looking for 15-20 mph traffic on the sidewalk when they turn into or pull out of driveways. Drivers aren't looking for 15-20 mph traffic jumping into crosswalks when turning through intersections. Pedestrians on sidewalks don't have rear-view mirrors, turn signals, or metal cages to protect them from 15-20 mph traffic on the sidewalk. It's a sideWALK, not a sideDRIVE.

    Bicycles belong in the street with other vehicles. That's safer, and it's the law.

  13. JodI says:

    Just had this convo yesterday with my brother he want to get rid of his road rage but doesn’t see a way to do it he simply cannot understand driver stupidity. He’s a Good driver but way to impatient all peeps need to understand that its not THEIR road its everyones n oh someone wants to do 50mph on a hwy in lieu of posted 55 its their prerogative sorry if there isn’t a fat enough opportunity in next lane to allow u to pass me guess ul just have to WAIT YOUR TURN!!##

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