I absolutely, positively hate traffic. There is nothing that brings more stress and anxiety then being on the road with hundreds of other people who absolutely, positively hates traffic.
Driving is one of those paradoxes where it necessary for survival, and yet it really isn’t, but in order to live in this hustle bustle world, driving is essential.
I don’t think driving would be so bad if we realized that we shared the road with other people who are also trying to get where they need to go. Maybe it’s my wrong thinking here, but it seems to me that we forget that. We forget that there are other lives on the road who matter just as mush as we do. I know when I am in a hurry to get somewhere, I forget about sharing the road and everyone is nothing but an obstacle in my way. So I get angry that they are driving too slow, or cut me off.
The transformation the occurs when we get into our vehicles is amazing it? Nothing turns decent people into outrageous murdering assholes. Suddenly the road no longer belongs to others, it only belongs to me. I turn on the radio, or my favorite jam and blast away. If I’m running late, people better get out of my damn way! I am guilty of calling other people horrendous names and have shown my little birdy to a few (well deserving people) and boy do I act pretty ugly. I know when I am on the other end, and what may be a sweet, kind person suddenly turns savage on me, because I may have cut them off, (not on purpose of course), I see the same ugly monster appear.
Road rage is real.
I don’t have the answers on how to fix it. I wish I did. As I mature, however, I realize more and more that I have no control over the traffic. I cannot control the traffic lights, I cannot control the person driving behind me, next to me, or ahead of me. I can, however control myself– so I have committed to slow down a bit, and be a courteous driver. If I’m running late, I accept that and take whatever consequences I must. Putting my life and the life of others at risk, just to be a few minutes ahead of my arrival time, even though I would probably still be late, is not worth it.
This doesn’t eliminate the rage we feel when other drivers cut us off, or don’t follow the rules. So when someone honks at me and shows me their one manicured finger, I apologize and let it go. Becoming angry at them and fighting back will not solve anything. If anything, it might make it worse. People have died and will die over this issue. How crazy and absurd is that?
So, when I get behind the wheel, I put on music that is peaceful and calming or none, put down my phone and buckle up. I make an effort to keep my distance from the other drivers around me so they have space to maneuver. I make sure to slow down and breathe if I feel the urgency to hurry- I would rather arrive in one “peace” and be late. I remind myself that what I am driving is a potential weapon. I share the road with other families. The road does not belong to us. It belongs to our community so that we may go to our jobs, our appointments, to visit friends, to make a difference.
I can’t control the traffic, but I do have the ability to control my emotions and be a more kind and loving driver.
Now, let me apply these lessons to my whole life and not just driving.