Road Rage

Road Rage A popular bumper sticker advises people to practice “random acts of kindness.” Why is it that we often see cars sporting those bumper stickers cutting others off in traffic? There is something about being surrounded by a couple of tons of metal, plastic, and glass, that gives us not only a feeling of invincibility, but also, invisibility. When we are on the road with each other, it’s as if we don’t believe the other people can see us. When we believe we can’t be seen, we tend to behave much more poorly than when we know we are being watched. When is it that people do those not-so-pleasant things like burping loudly or trying to clean out one’s nose? At the mall? At a work meeting? No. They do it when they are alone and they don’t believe they are being watched. When we are in our cars, we have that same feeling, as if no one can see us. Well, how ludicrous. Maybe not everyone on the road can actually see your face or see what you are doing, but they sure do see your vehicle and what you’re doing with it. Somehow, we tend to forget that when we’re driving. The next time you are on the road, I encourage you to look around at the other drivers and take notice that they are not invisible. Use that to help you remember that you aren’t, either. Another thing to remember is that the other motorists aren’t merely “other drivers.” They are your next-door neighbors, your dentist, your lawyer, your girlfriend’s mother, your preacher, and the kid that works down at the Dairy Queen. Once you become more mindful that you are not invincible nor invisible on the road, you may very well begin engaging in “random acts of kindness,” like letting someone into your lane when they are signaling that they would like to move over, or taking care to slow down around pedestrians or cyclists with whom you are sharing the roadways.

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