Sunday, April 27, 2008

Road Rage

Quite simply, rage or anger is to be avoided at all cost. The most common form of public anger we see exhibited today is road rage. Almost all drivers seem prone to it and all have seen it in others. It’s understandable yet ugly and quite stupid.

The Active Survivalist needs to remain calm at all times in order to maximize the chances of long term survival. The burst of adrenalin that accompanies an attack of road rage is probably not good for your heart either although I'll have to research that. You’re not thinking straight when you are angry and you will do foolish, self-destructive things. Remember the last time you saw someone losing their temper and how foolish it looked? Are you impressed with such behavior? I doubt it.

The Active Survivalist is also getting on in years and long past the time when tests of manhood are needed or appropriate. Road rage could easily transform into actual physical combat which should only be resorted to in extreme cases of personal survival, preferably with superior weapons which are not usually readily at hand while driving to work. Remember that a small percentage of the population are psychotic criminals and there is no way you want to interact with them. That guy that cut you off maybe one of them or under the influence of something or other or both.

If you are reading this blog your intelligence is likely to be rated in the top 10% of the general population. This means that 90% of drivers are of lesser intelligence than you. There’s no way you want to be interacting with these dumbos! Just get to your destination with everyone in one piece and with no rushes of adrenalin.

Try to think the best of everyone. That guy who ran the red light might be rushing to work having been told the day before by his boss that if he was late one more time he will be fired. Or that woman pulled out in front of you so you are angry now because like you never, ever, pulled out in front of someone in your entire life – yeah right.

My theory about road rage is that people project their own intentions onto others and so get angry because they think they know the reasoning behind the bad driving. Often this reasoning is flawed and the bad driver simply made a mistake or misjudged. Even if they did it deliberately you yourself have been known to do such things as well so it’s hypocritical to get so angry.

Some people try to educate other road users through rage. It’s probably ok to educate other people but utilizing rage is not the way to go about it. You have to be subtle or educate by being a good example yourself. If you are not the police then it’s best to mind your own business especially when it comes to driving. I remember someone once wrote a letter of complaint to my boss about how I was driving 115kmh in 100kmh zone – we all had a bit of a laugh about that. Complaining just makes you look like a grumpy old man with no sense of humour.

You might find it helpful to adopt techniques to avoid rage. Pretend all other drivers are your mates or family – you’d let them in wouldn’t you? Pretend you are a secret agent attempting to traverse the city with as much discretion as possible – an incident will only call attention to yourself.

And finally why not relish the opportunity of a road incident to test your self-control? To not sound the horn or tail gate a person even under severe provocation should be seen as a personal victory. A victory that might see you living another day and train you for other incidents.

Extend this thinking into all aspects of your life and avoid anger altogether giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. It's for the sake of your own survival.

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