Maybe you have or haven't noticed the recent surge in driver angst all over the highways, main streets, and even backroads. I'm talking about the impatient beeping coming from behind, the lack of yielding the right of way, the revving up from behind, the clipping tail lights when people try to pass, the failure to stop and let a pedestrian cross, the yelling out windows, the hand gestures, the throwing things at other vehicles.
Everyone's in a rush. Many are distracted. A great deal are enraged.
If you've been on (or even near) the roads lately, you probably have some story to tell recounting how the stresses of society are all played out on the roads like some sort of symbolic drama.
I was recently at an intersection waiting to turn left onto a curved, narrow street where the local drivers travel well over the speed limit, when right from behind I hear a loud unfriendly beep after what looked like a missed opportunity to turn from my assailant's viewpoint (elevated in a big pickup), but was, in fact, still an unsafe moment to pull onto the street. After I finally made the turn, the pickup continued to beep at me until I turned completely off the street, physically freeing myself from this type of assault, but feeling mentally shaken from the entire occurrence.
The other day I had the road rage conversation with someone who experienced the same daily craze on the streets, but he had some great advice how to deal with it - thanks Adam!
Instead of recognizing, getting frustrated, and giving energy and power to all the negative things that happen on the roads, try focusing on all the good and safe things people are doing, and if you can, thank them for their actions! Recognize when someone uses signals to change lanes, stops to let pedestrians cross at crosswalks, yields the right of way. Give a wave when they stop to let you go.
Be more mindful of the good that happens and spread that kindness.
So I challenge you, this holiday week, seek out those positive incidences, express gratitude when you can, and try to contribute to the ripple effect by paying it forward. When you start paying attention to the positivity in the world, you might notice there's a fair amount that is still out there and it's contagious if you let it grow.