Road Rage

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I was on my way to meet someone in a place I had never been before. The home I was going to was so new even the GPS I got a few years before couldn’t find it.

So I was trying to get there the good old fashioned way, with paper directions, and since there was no one else in the car with me I had to try to drive on the highway and read the directions myself, which was rather dangerous. I was driving slowly and trying to be careful to follow the paper directions because I knew if I made a wrong turn I could not depend on the GPS to correct my mistake and find another way. Although I was driving slowly it became very hard to focus on the road and that map at the same time. At one point, the highway got pretty complicated with many exits, and if I was not careful I could end up somewhere else.

There was a point in the road where I had to merge onto the left lane to take an exit, but when I finally saw the road I was looking for I almost passed it, so I stopped on the strip of road in-between the turning lane and the road I was currently on. I was going to turn suddenly to get in that lane instead, but I just felt impressed to stop. I don’t know why I didn’t just turn the wheel to get in that lane as I normally would, because I didn’t see anyone, but soon after I stopped a motorcycle that was in my blind spot passed by in the very lane I was planning to turn in and I could have hit it if I tried to make my turn sooner. After the motorcycle passed by I followed to make my turn but I was still driving slowly because the road and directions seemed a bit confusing and I needed to find my next turn - which I ended up missing anyway.

Anyway, as I looked at the highway exit number that I thought should have been mine I noticed the man on the motorcycle in front of me turned off onto it and in doing so he seemed to be telling me to turn off as well. He wasn’t even focused on where he was going, how on earth can you drive a motorcycle looking backwards? Although I didn’t kill him it looked like he might very well kill himself without any help driving like that. He did seem very upset. Understandably, I was shocked myself, but I didn’t have much time to ponder the reactions while driving.

However, after stopping to ask three different people to help me find my location it was interesting to think about the different reactions of fear and anger. It reminded me of the anger I felt when someone I looked up to couldn’t give me a good answer when I felt I needed to know something. I wondered why we may feel anger instead of fear or fear instead of anger when we feel threatened sometimes. I am no expert but upon thinking of if some more I wondered if whether we feel fear or anger may have something to do with the level of our sense of entitlement to control situations.

Fear is something we feel when we know we cannot control something, and maybe our anger at unexpected situations may have more to do with not wanting to admit we are not in control of everything that happens than it does with the situation itself. When I was angry when someone I depended on proved I couldn’t depend on him for answers it was because I felt he should be the one to provide my security, not God. While it is healthy to have some expectations for the behavior of others, when we get extremely angry with people, especially people we don’t even know, even if no one is harmed it may be rooted in being unwilling to accept that you cannot control everything in some cases.

I’m not saying this to justify my poor driving in anyway. I was thinking of my own experience getting angry at the failures of others too. I think pride prevents us from acknowledging our own vulnerability and life showing us that we cannot control it as much as we think we should be entitled to makes us angry. Pride blames others and the surroundings for a lack of control over life that the angry person never really had-we cannot control everything. I think we should accept our vulnerability instead of fighting it and try to do better with the life we do have knowing that each moment is a blessing we are not entitled to and shouldn’t take for granted.

Picture originally found here

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