Ever been on either side of a “Road Rage” incident? Someone cuts you off and nearly drives you into another car or obstacle? Or maybe someone forgets to signal for a turn and you wait and wait … then they turn! It’s enough to make your blood boil, right? Of course it is! You’re justified in your feelings, so what’s your response? Do you pound the steering wheel and let loose a string of colorful words? Do you flip the “idiot” the bird? Do you ram his car from behind?
What if it’s YOU? What if YOU’RE the one who forgot to signal because you were engrossed in a conversation on our phone? What if YOU are the one who lost concentration for a second and pulled out in front of an oncoming vehicle? Never done it? I have! I confess! Not often, but it has happened.
Most of us ave been on BOTH sides of bad driver courtesy. Hmmm COURTESY … is that a WORD? Is it something any of us think about any more? Yea, sure there are LAWS, but then there is … COURTESY. What happens if two cars arrive at a 4-way stop at the same time? Who goes first? Is it just a matter of reflexes and which punches the gas first?
Road rage is just one evidence of a universal problem we humans experience – IMPERFECTION! Now, I realize some of us are … almost perfect, but we all know the other guy is anything but perfect! In fact, the other guy is an absolute idiot, if you tell the truth, right? Until … you miss that STOP sign hidden behind a low-hanging tree branch and fly through the intersection past a parked patrol car! Ooops!
- ALL HUMANS ARE FLAWED
- EACH live HUMAN WILL OFFEND (disappoint, discourage, frighten, embarrass, confuse, irritate, annoy, bother …) SOMEONE TODAY
- EACH live HUMAN WILL BE OFFENDED TODAY, and, sad but true,
- YOU WILL OFFEND SOMEONE TODAY
In light of the fact that I KNOW I will offend someone today, or at least will have the opportunity to offend someone today (in or out of a car), I can CHOOSE (gotta love FREEDOM) ahead of time, what my response will be. I can, therefore, BE PREPARED when the incident occurs.
It is humanly possible to decide ahead of time what my response will be to “OFFENSE.” ( as in disappointment, discouragement, fear, embarrassment, confusion, irritation, annoyance, bother …) I can CHOOSE:
- to throw my justified “rage” (or other justified reaction) at the well-deserving “idiot” for daring to ruin my day, OR
- to acknowledge the “mistake” graciously, as I would like to be treated in the event of MY error.
If I respond in RAGE, I can expect RAGE when I mess up. If, on the other hand, I can hold it together and wave off the mistake kindly, maybe the next time I drive with my head in my phone instead of on my driving, I will be shown kindness as well.
THIS is called: SELF-CONTROL! YES! (or Self-government) You and I have a DOMAIN! It is our own thoughts, words, and deeds! I have the ability to be … IN CONTROL of my words – to choose to speak kindness or not. Btw, truth need not ALWAYS be spoken, if it cannot be done in kindness! Honesty is wonderful, but it is trumped by Kindness!
I make plenty of mistakes, just ask my kids! It is my hope, that when I do, kindness will be the response. Anger serves no positive purpose. NONE! It raises our BP, and who knows what all inside our body, and it takes our mindset to a bad place … an unsettled place.
It is the SOFT answer that turns away wrath! Did you know this? Try it next time someone yells at you. Quietly apologize. (Right or wrong!) So the next time you are distracted while waiting for the traffic light to change until a horn blasts you back to reality, smile and wave in apology as you drive away. Or the next time you’re BEHIND someone asleep at the light … don’t honk heavy … just tap it enough to alert the distracted driver in front of you and wear a smile when he looks back. Both of you will feel so much better than an ugly “Road Rage” incident.
is just controlling your SELF
Just in case you aren’t sure, this approach works for OTHER things as well. FREEDOM is a great thing – it allows us CHOICES!!! Wise men and women have debated the various structures of government for millennia, but most have been unwilling to recognize that even the seemingly perfect structure cannot provide security and freedom without self-government. The individual must “govern” his own choices, his own thoughts, his own responses, and his own behavior for Liberty to endure.
Each individual must undertake this journey. It does no good if only a few manage themselves well. For security and freedom to flourish in any civilization, the people must learn SELF-GOVERNMENT … self-control! We must teach our children to control their urge to lie, to steal, to throw a tantrum when they don’t get their own way. We teach them both by example and by correcting unacceptable behavior. Throwing a tantrum because mommy won’t buy that candy bar at the check out is NOT acceptable behavior.
It is time to Grow up, America! We have behaved badly for too long. Stop pointing to other people’s bad behavior as an excuse for our own bad behavior. Stop looking for JUSTIFICATION! When we throw our tantrums, we shame the GOOD and HONORABLE among us. We disrespect our GOD and our HERITAGE when we do not extend COURTESY to one another. We cannot control the thoughts and behaviors of others, but we CAN and MUST control our own! We KNOW better! We were taught better, at least if we’re over 35!
Just like our CONSTITUTION is not there to define our boundaries, but to define the boundaries of government, so GOD’s law is not here to confine us, but to release us to a more flavorful, more fulfilling life … if we just follow His WORD.
RESPONSIBILITY is FREEDOM‘s
Not the greatest video, but the SONG is GREAT!