Improvement, Journal

Road Rage

In the past week, I’ve been caught in a traffic jam, cut off, and made to wait behind someone just a little too long after the light turned green.

In all likelihood, the traffic jam caused my blood pressure to go up the most. I honked at the stoplight because I figured the driver was texting. I didn’t lay on the horn or anything, just tried to get the traffic flow moving again. I shook my head when I was cut off but none of these things alleviated my aggravation.

Therefore, it might be better if I learned to accept the travails of the road with a little more grace–if that’s possible. But, seriously, I’d like to reach a point when these minor inconviences don’t agitate me so easily.

The best way to do this, I think, is first to recognize when I’m becoming aggravated. Then, redirect my behavior and turn my attention to something else. Finally, I want to recover by obtaining balance in my overall emotional state.

If this were an actual system, it would be known as the Three Rs:

  1. Recognize
  2. Redirect
  3. Recover

It may seem like I’m turning this into a bit of a joke but so far it’s been pretty useful. I recently recognized the potential for road rage after honking at a driver ahead of me. Redirecting came fairly naturally after this. And I was able to reach balance quickly because I hadn’t let myself become enraged.

It’s possible that the three Rs, which I’m now treating very seriously, could be turned into the one R (except for the fact that it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it). If we can just recognize our road rage and then recognize that we want to change it, then we can help ourselves and our fellow commuters.

On the other hand, we could just wait until there are self-driving cars when we’ll be too preoccupied with our screens to care what’s happening outside the vehicle and/ or drone taxi.

photo: Jason Blackeye

This entry was posted in: Improvement, Journal

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Justin Meckes is a writer and filmmaker living in Chapel Hill, NC. His short stories have been published in various online journals and magazines. He has ghostwritten novels and is the author of several children's books. You can learn more about him at justinmeckes.com or by sending an email to contact@justinmeckes.com.