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Road-Happy not Road-Rage

Like a lot of drivers (the majority?) when I get behind the wheel of my car I can become a bit “ranty”.

However unlike most other drivers I’m not (always) ranting at people for getting in my way and holding me up but most often my rant is around the fact that other drivers sit into their vehicles and become cocooned such that they forget that they are driving a lethal weapon. However the thing is that I’m no better because I’m sitting in my cocoon feeling superior and judging them. Not good.

This morning on my regular commute to work I caught myself starting to do it again, getting all ranty and ragey at the other “drivers”. The emphasis is on the word “driver” deliberately because I realised that in thinking of them as “drivers” I’ve objectified and dehumanised them so that they are irritations not other human beings.

I decided then and there to unlearn that behaviour and set my mind to thinking about the other people sharing the road with me; about how they, like me, are just trying to get somewhere and get the travel behind them so that they can move on to the next part of the day.

Just that simple change in outlook vastly improved my morning commute and I shared an enjoyable journey with a bunch of fellow humans instead of “battling my way through traffic”.

So I urge you, if you’re driving today (or any day) and getting frustrated at the drivers in the other vehicles, the idiot in that fancy car tailgating you, that bloody truck-driver who’s in your lane and any of the other things which get on our nerves behind the wheel, take a mental time-out and think about the fact that it’s not a “car” and a “driver” it’s a person trying to get somewhere just like you. That person, who like you, has somewhere to be, possibly loved ones to be with, is probably frustrated just as much as you at the other impersonals they see.

I’m feeling really perky and positive this morning as a consequence of my commute. Road-happy beats Road-Rage any day.