I was tooling along on my way to work this morning and had an “AHA” experience.

First, I must admit that generally I drive the speed limit (causing a great deal of consternation for almost everyone else on the road).. but, that’s what I do.

So, on to my “AHA” experience….. As I was tooling along driving the speed limit, a driver came flying by me at rocket speed, swerving in and out of lanes in rush hour traffic, and tailgating everyone who they were temporarily behind. They were definitely SOMEONE going SOMEWHERE!

Now I didn’t see the face of the person so I could not identify age, race, gender, etc. Maybe the driver was a distraught mother with an ill child rushing to the hospital! Maybe they had a passenger who was holding them at gunpoint and forcing them to drive like an idiot! I have no idea really what purpose the driver had in driving at rocket speed. I could have made up the stories above…

But that didn’t stop my Ego mind from creating a whole aggressive story about the driver; a completely made-up illusory story that had no basis in reality. My story went like this; “It’s probably some GUY who came from the suburbs (I was driving to the city) who didn’t give a damn about anybody else as long as he got where he wanted to go! He’s probably aggressive in all aspects of his life. He probably yells at his wife and kids. He probably drinks too much socially. He probably watches football all weekend on TV and this Monday driving is left over from watching aggression on TV all weekend..and on..and on..and on. (Remember I had no “reality”-based information to create any of this story)

(Here comes the “AHA part). While I was creating this aggressive story in my head, I noticed I was driving faster, and when someone tried to merge into traffic from a side road, I wouldn’t let them in!

When I became AWARE of this I realized I was BECOMING an aggressive driver! That was the “AHA”!

It didn’t really matter what the other driver was doing, or why. Thinking aggressively, regardless of the assumed cause (the other driver in my case) makes YOU aggressive.

I then realized why petty fights, arguments and major wars start and why they continue! It all starts with YOU thinking aggressively and YOU responding aggressively. And if this is true for the thought of aggression, it’s probably true for all thoughts. Now I get the “Turn the other cheek” message.



2 thoughts on ““Being” aggressive… why??

  1. It’s a constant battle, driving without being aggressive. When I was younger I lost that battle daily but now I win it many more times then not. Not making any generalities about age but that’s just the way it was for me. I still have to talk to myself about each situation but at least now I listen!

    Ed, your assumptions about who they were and why they were driving that way was interesting. I’ve always thought some sort of communication device external to the car would be helpful ( as long as it wasn’t abuded)

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