Thursday, June 9, 2011

Road Rage and Dead Greek Philosophers

So here's my quote for the day:

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

And why, you may be asking, have I chosen to bring that little gem of quotable wisdom to your attention? Why, out of all the witty, quip-able and inspiring collections of famous stuff that other people have said, am I focused on that one today. The answer my friends is fairly simple...I got cut off by crazy driver. Whoa, deep, right? Ok, maybe not deep, maybe more like a big puddle, but still...whoa, right?

So here's what happened. The kiddies and I were driving back from Ella's skating lesson and, as I have casually mentioned earlier, thanks to a blizzard and a weak roof we have to drive an hour to the nearest still standing rink. Which means I also have to drive an hour back (that's physics for ya). So we're about 30 minutes into the drive home, the kids are jabbering and there's a Barbie movie playing on the car dvd player, when I notice a car coming up rather quickly behind me. Now, I'm a safe, but not annoyingly safe, driver. Which means I generally stay within 5 miles per hour above the speed limit, I use my blinker and if there's road construction coming up I change lanes early rather than waiting until the last minute and forcing everyone else to screech to a halt to accommodate me (but that's another story).

Anyway, I notice the rapidly moving vehicle continuing to gain on me and I start to wonder if he plans on slowing down or just running over me. Now bear in mind, there are three lanes moving this direction and I'm in the middle lane. As I continue to watch my impending doom grow larger in the rear view mirror, I start getting a little (ahem, a lot) annoyed. Finally, the obviously in a hurry car gets as close as he can get to my bumper without doing mechanical work and I had a fleeting thought of slowing down just to make him mad. But I refrained. Score one for maturity.

Then, Mr. "Can't You Tell I Have Somewhere To Be", dashes over to the right lane, accelerates and then promptly cuts me off in what can only be interpreted as a deliberate "that'll teach you little Ms. Minivan" move. So I slow down just enough so he can see me in his side view mirrors and give him the universal hand waving in the air sign, the one that looks a lot like an Italian grandmother telling the rotten neighborhood kids to get off her lawn. I believe it is roughly translated as "Hey, jerk, where'd you learn to drive?" Hmmm, lose one maturity point. On the plus side I didn't actually call him the names that were running through my head.

Then, a few hours later I thought of Plato's quote. You never know what battle someone is fighting, but it's a good bet that they are fighting something. It's possible this guy was just a thoughtless, inconsiderate and relatively unsafe driver. But it is also possible that there was something else going on. Maybe his wife was in labor and he really wanted to be there. Or maybe he had his sick dog in the car and he had to get to the vet. Or maybe he was a spy being chased by ninjas (that I couldn't see know...they're ninjas) and he had to get the governments most secret secrets away from DC as fast as possible. I don't know and I'll never know, but Plato's quote is a good reminder that everyone has a battle to fight and they probably don't need us adding our rudeness or criticism to whatever burden they are already carrying.

1 comment:

  1. can you send me that quote on tape, so I can play it every time I need it? Love Ya, Shel