A little over two years ago I wrote this post about driving that ended up being controversial. I was writing about this thing that seems to happen in LA where you find yourself in side street traffic and look up ahead and realize it is completely and needlessly the fault of one person. Now, I’ve learned since then not to get so angry about it but I still don’t understand how it happens.
I mean, don’t they notice? Don’t they see that there are many people behind them and none in front? And if a car honks in frustration, how do they justify getting upset at them?
I still think its a good metaphor too. What kind of life is that? To be the person that prevents someone else from what doing what they want to do, even if you think that activity might be unnecessary or dangerous. You don’t get anything out of it. There is no award for ‘keeping those speeding teenagers in line.’
You could use a bunch of different examples to make this point. Etiquette in waiting rooms, or reclining the seat on an airplane are good ones but driving is my favorite. If people are trying to get past and you’re the impediment, you should pull over—just as if your political views block reasonable requests from reasonable people, you should reevaluate how you came to those beliefs. You certainly shouldn’t be offended that those people would have the nerve to be upset at you about it.
Survey the scene and ask if you’re the problem. It’s never fun to find out the answer is yes, but it’s better continuing it any longer.