Forecasts for snow almost always imply white-knuckled journeys in the dark for me. I believe any driver would elect to have a car that drives well in snow. And I’m willing to bet they would rather not, if given a choice, have a car that picks a really bad time to have mechanical problems. Nevertheless, a couple of mornings ago, a car creeping along with the rest of us at about 35 mph began carefully edging to the right across three lanes of white, with its hazard lights flashing its distress. WHOA! A horn blares behind me- headlights approaching way too fast. The horn that startled me is now annoying, and I attribute the prolonged braying more to the idiot driver than the vehicle itself. The distressed car safely exits.
It’s a shortcoming amongst us that a perceived failing in another can engender annoyance, inconvenience, contempt or rage – even a will to do harm, when the other has suffered no harm to their self or loved ones. How many times have we heard the aggressor blame the victims of their actions?
People push against reasonable expectations and laws put in place to keep our encounters with one another safe and efficient. They ride too closely behind us, sending the clear message that even though we’re driving 10 to 15 miles above the generous speed limit, they have a right to go faster and we’re in their way.
We cannot choose the level of intelligence or maturity or good will we will encounter in others. Accept this as a basic reality of your path. But, while not being a lone traveler means encounters with the good, the bad and the ugly, traveling in the company of fellow path finders is also assurance that you’re experiencing what so many others ahead and behind are experiencing. They continue toward their destinations, usually meeting their goals and will return home at the end of the day. So will you.
Prepare and take your mental backpack with you every time you get behind the wheel. Create a sanctuary with music, a podcast, a favorite book. Phone someone who will listen sympathetically, make you smile, even laugh.
Most importantly, remember this is only momentary and then you’ll continue on your way.