November 22, 2011

The Cure for Road Rage.


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.


~photo by Mantas Ruzveltas from freedigitalphotos .net

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