There’s a suggested driving etiquette that slower vehicles keep to the right. At some point, the rumour was spread that it is actually the eleventh commandment. Moses himself wants you to speed up or move the fuck over.
One day while driving on the terrifying Interstate, I see a dawdling Honda CRV getting its ass ridden so tightly by a Dodge Charger that it makes me think about the question of consent. The Charger then swerves into my lane, speeds ahead of the CRV, swings back in front of it only to slam on its breaks before shooting over three lanes to its exit on the right. The driver of the Charger was so infuriated by the mildly inconsiderate behavior on the part of the CRV driver that he felt justified in endangering both of their lives and anyone else in that aura of crazy. He wanted to prove a point and to make sure that the CRV driver knew what a piece of shit he was for dallying along in the left lane at only 10mph over the posted speed limit.
My heart was pounding. That could have gone so badly so quickly. Thankfully we all made it out of that unscathed but it had me considering this insane habit we have as humans of trying to correct one another. What cost are we willing to pay to make another person realize that we are right and they are wrong?
There will never be any winners at driving. Not really. Maybe the person who cut me off was a total douchebag or maybe I should have gotten my head out my ass when I right-on-red turned when I totally shouldn’t have. But these are mistakes or oversights, and are insignificant validation to wager life and limb. I personally enjoy not pissing through a catheter or eating my calories through a permanently implanted tube in my gut. I am still on board with my ability to walk independently.
This lesson from the road doesn’t need the threat of paralysis or death to be easily applicable to our everyday lives. During interactions with strangers, friends and family we need to constantly ask ourselves when that rage monster bares its fangs: How much does it really matter? And pretty much all of the time, once we have had a chance to make some space for the feels, we will readily say that most of this shit does not matter as much as the physical and emotional safety of ourselves and others.