This morning, I was driving along I-35; it’s a generally miserable highway to be driving on, but I had no choice. It was dark and there was traffic (surprise, surprise). As we slowed to a stop, I saw a white truck whip out of a lane as if it were on fire. Then, all he sped back into the same lane, right directly in front of the car who had previously been in front of him.
I thought it was an odd move – why go through so much trouble getting out of a lane, in traffic, only to get right in front of one car? As I drove by him, I looked into his vehicle. Even in the dark, I could see him angrily talking to himself, slamming his hands down on his steering wheel in frustration, his face contorted in rage.
I thought – I don’t want to be that driver.
But I have been. We all have. Maybe he was late to the airport and was going to miss his flight. Maybe he was late to work and his boss had threatened him to show up on time. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to drive by and judge him for his apparent stupidity in driving; but it’s also easy to forget that we’ve all felt that blatant frustration explode with the slightest move another driver makes.
I’m making this post because recently, I’ve had to do a lot of driving with my job. I have the tendency to be overly critical and frustrated at every single driver, especially in monstrous traffic. So I’ve been trying an experiment. Instead of saying, “GET OFF MY BUMPER, ASSHOLE!” to every person that tail gates me, I just try to avoid looking into my rear view mirror. If someone takes the spot in a lane that I wanted, I just shrug it off and try not to assume that this person is a failure to his family and society.
And you know what? I feel a lot happier. On Monday, I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, and yet I was still able to smile as I drove into the city, even with the stressful traffic. I’m not saying that every day will be stress-free, but attempting to maintain a positive attitude, even while driving through traffic, works wonders.
I hope that the man in the white truck realizes this too.