Attitude Check

Is it only me, or have you noticed that people these days seem not only to be in a big hurry, but are easily aggravated as well? It seems as if everyone wants to go faster than the posted speed limit, and Heaven help you if you’re in their way. Now if someone has a woman in labor in the car and is rushing her to the hospital, that’s one thing. But speeding just to go faster than everyone else? It’s dumb and dangerous.

It also seems that too many people are constantly angry, especially in traffic. It used to be that, if someone was backing out of a parking space, anyone coming up on them would wait until they moved; it didn’t take all that long. Now you have to keep your head on a 360 degree swivel because people will speed right behind you, even though they can plainly see you are trying to back out.

It also used to be that, if you stopped in town traffic to allow someone to make a turn in front of you, we waved a “thanks!” and  a “you’re welcome!” at each other. Not so now. The person who is trying to make that turn seems to feel that their time is far more valuable than yours, and you’d better let them go. And then when you do let them go, there is no thanks; not even an acknowledgement. Also, the person behind you will probably lay on their horn to remind you that they too  are in a massive hurry and how dare you make them wait a few seconds?

Then there are the incredibly selfish people who think it’s just fine to text and drive while weaving all over the road. One of the latest dangerous fads is people who sing along with their radio and “dance (arm and hand gestures included, of course)” while driving. One of these jokers was stopped by the police and was quite annoyed when they told him that what he was doing was a ‘danger to himself and others,’ plus he was given a ticket….I can’t even wrap my head around the mindset that would think this is a good thing to do while driving.

So, how do the rest of us deal with this? Well, depending on where you live, it can be a crap-shoot; these folks seem to be everywhere. However, if we can face traffic with as calm an attitude as possible, pay attention and keep our wits about us, we can drive in traffic without risking death. I used to be a very impatient driver when I was young, and all it did was to keep me riled up and angry for most of the day. The older I get, the less I want to feel angry.

If someone behind me is creeping up my tailpipe, if it’s at all possible for me to move over and let them go ahead, I do. If someone stops abruptly in front of me and causes me to stand on the brakes, I take some deep breaths, and thank God neither of us got hurt. I don’t want to be upset all day; I don’t want to feel angry.

Since I can’t change anyone’s attitude but my own, I do my best to keep calm as much as possible. Instead of sending curses or worse–*flipping someone off to anyone who annoys me, I send good wishes and kindness their way. I am by no means a saint; I just don’t want to feel riled up all day. I want to be calm, and will keep on sending out calm vibes to others in order to stay calm myself.

Getting angry and worse; staying angry is like rocking in a rocking chair. Oh sure, you’re busy, but you’re going nowhere. Why waste precious time and energy by letting what other people do upset us? I’m not **perfect; I just don’t want to spend the rest of my life being in senseless pain and anger. We are all works in progress, and as with any work in progress, attitude is everything.

*I highly advise never to so this–these days you just don’t know who is on drugs, carrying a gun, in a bad mood, and so on. Don’t make a bad situation worse; it’s not worth it.

**Believe me, I’ve said more than my share of curses to others in traffic. It’s just that I began to get so tired of feeling that way, I gave it up as a waste of time and life.