I’m watching a show on TV in which a girl was hit by a train because another driver, filled with rage pushed her car across the tracks. This was a fictional story, of course, but this could just as easily be a true story. We have all been guilty of road rage, whether we want to admit it or not. I recalled my own experiences with road rage, on both sides of the story.
I was going home for lunch one day as the snow was melting. I lived out in the country, and didn’t often go home at lunch, but I had forgotten something that day, so I was in a hurry. As I was driving along, a car pulled right out in front of me. I swerved to miss him, and spun completely around in the road, due to the melting snow. I came to a stop, safe at last, so I got out of my car. He got out too, and said, “Are you alright?” My answer, “Yes…You aren’t too smart, are you?” He meekly responded, “I guess not. I’m glad you’re ok. Have a good day.” Of course, I felt like two cents waiting for change, and I decided at that moment, that road rage was a waste of energy, and it tended to make people feel really bad…on both sides.
A few years later, I was sitting at an intersection. The light was red, so I was stopped. The light changed to green, and I started to proceed into the intersection. Suddenly another driver came through the red light right in front of me. I stopped, and as she came through the intersection, I observed her panicked face. Many thoughts ran rapidly through my head, but then I recalled the earlier incident, and I smiled and waved. The relief that flooded her face was all I needed to know that I had made the right move. Two people went their way that day with a smile on their faces, knowing that kindness is the better way.
Another time I was on the other side of that coin, in that I was the one who went through the red light. No accident occurred, but the man who had to stop because of me, followed me to the next light, got out of his car screaming. I tried to ignore him, but he wasn’t leaving. I grabbed my cell phone, called my daughter, and rolled the window down a crack. He was still yelling when he realized that I was talking on the phone…I turned to him and said, “I’m sorry. What more do you want me to say?” He sort of, came to himself and realized what he was doing, apologized and left. I was shaking.
Just the other day, with the parking lot covered in snow, I was driving down the lane at Albertson’s, when a girl came across 4 parking rows and in her white car, ended up right in front of me. I jumped, turned the wheel to the right, thankfully no cars were right there, and avoided her car. Again, our eyes met, and the relief on both faces was very obvious. We smiled…very relieved smiles, and went on our way. That was how my new year started. I felt thankful that it wasn’t different, and thankful that we both left the rage out of the mix.