I had a small moment of road rage yesterday. I was following this cement truck when it came to a stop at an intersection. No turn signal, right or left. The traffic was flowing on our left. As we sat there for a few seconds I figured the truck was turning left. I will admit to being hypersensitive to things like turn signals because my son has his learning permit and I notice everything lately regarding traffic issues.
The traffic cleared on the left. I waited for the truck to turn, but instead a purple mini-van that was in front of the truck turned left. I didn’t even see the mini-van until that moment. The cement truck then continued forward with me following along. I smirked at myself. I was quick to judge without seeing the whole picture. I then started to think about my college class.
For this first time in 14 years, I teach a lecture class on campus. I have a mix of high school students, freshman, and non-traditional students. The non-traditional group is a mix of students. I have students who are parents. Students that are trying college again. Students that have incredible stories. They amaze me with their dedication.
As I often do, I connected my small moment of road rage that was based on my bad judgment and the way we sometimes view others. We can’t always see the road the way they do.
The driver of the cement truck saw the purple mini-van. I did not. I was wrong to react the way I did (even if it was mostly in my head). We don’t see the road people have traveled to get to a certain point. But we will make a judgment (even if it is just in our head) that is misguided.
There is no easy solution to handling snap judgments, except maybe to realize we are all traveling a path. And that the view of the journey is unique to our perspective. To be honest enough to recognize that we can be wrong. We can’t always see the factors influencing another driver but we are all sharing the road together.