Your next-door driver

20140329-220005.jpgDodging madmen and hell-raisers in my commute has led me to revile other drivers, yet in an attempt to be drive more safely, I need to trade this notion for another: these folks are just like me.

Anyone can make bad decisions on the road. I’ve had a few close calls that indicate my need to concentrate behind the wheel. Perhaps the bozo who cuts me off or blocks traffic or leans on the horn is just in the wrong frame of mind. Perhaps they’re stressed out from a busy day at the office. Perhaps they’re late to pick up their kids. In the city, stress and emotion can produce odd and erratic behavior in the average motorist. This leads me to consider that word: average. Quite literally, we all drive along the same median. We’re all going in the same direction. Most of us have the same values. And we all have stories to tell.

Perhaps I have dwelt on this too much, but when you think on it, these frantic motorists are all individuals. They run the gamut for life’s experiences.

  • At least one driver has climbed a mountain.
  • At least one driver has run in a marathon.
  • At least one driver knows how to knit a sweater.
  • At least one driver can speak fluently in a second language.
  • At least one driver has a bad back.
  • At least one driver has erectile dysfunction.
  • At least one driver can play the clarinet.
  • At least one driver can sing an entire song by Paul Simon.
  • At least one driver has survived cancer.
  • At least one driver is trying to quit smoking.
  • At least one driver is scheduled for a military deployment.
  • At least one driver is late for work.
  • At least one driver carries a concealed firearm.
  • At least one driver is pregnant.
  • At least one driver has Sox tickets.
  • At least one driver is afraid of the dark.

I am better for regarding even the nuttiest of drivers as a human being with their own reflections and abilities. Perhaps that will help me settle down after nearly getting rammed by a teenage driver yesterday. We all have close encounters. We all learn. In time, if we’re lucky, all these drivers will learn to appreciate that harmonious, common road.

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