Anyways, point is I was inspired recently to write a post and I've taken some time to actually write it down because of those reasons but here it is.
I was walking home after work the other day, coming to a busy intersection off my street. A car had turned onto my street but couldn't keep going because the street is narrow and a car in the oncoming lane was too far in the middle of the road. He also couldn't move until the light turned green because there was a car in front and behind him. I saw everything and expected the usual, honking horns and swearing yells but none of this happened. The man in the way said "Sorry, there's nothing I can do," and the woman who couldn't go forward waved her hand and said "Don't worry about it, honey." The light turned green and both cars went on their way.
I had expected anger and irritated exasperation but had found calm and polite conversation. It made me wonder why I had expected such a bad interaction in the first place. It's not because I think people in Massachusetts are particularly terrible or people in Boston. It's because I think people in general are terrible, at least in certain situations, one of which is especially driving. We honk and rage at the slow-movers, the ones who cut us off, those who make a stupid mistake and hold us up from our destination but really, we've all been there. Any one of us could accidentally turn and get caught in an embarrassing situation. Instead of assuming the driver who made the mistake is an asshole, why don't we assume they made a mistake and probably feel ashamed and embarrassed about it already? In the vast majority of the time, honking the horn is nothing more than a show of anger which literally accomplishes nothing.
I think part of the anger comes because we usually can't see the other person in their vehicle. We are each in our own box going to our own destination and fuck everyone else. If you don't see the person, you don't think about them or that they might have made a mistake, you think they are slowing you down and what the fuck is their problem? Imagine if you were walking down the sidewalk behind a super slow person and there was no way to get around? Would you make a noise, huff and puff, swear and yell? No, that would be incredibly rude but once you're in a vehicle, attitudes change. These two drivers in the situation I described had their windows open and we're stuck next to each other so they could see each other. Perhaps that had something to do with their being nice. I could still have imagined the woman laying on the horn and shaking her head, muttering about 'this asshole in the center of the street' but she didn't. She was pleasant.
There are assholes on the road but probably fewer than we think. We're all boxed up thinking about ourselves but all of us drivers are still people. We make mistakes. I just feel that people driving around are too angry. So someone cut you off, big deal, get over it. Is it worth it to express your rage through honking your horn like some child crying about life being unfair?
It's not even about driving. I just feel when some one inconviences us in any way, we immediately respond with a negative attitude, we assume the someone is an idiot or an asshole or worse. I get it all the time as a bouncer. If I don't let someone downstairs I am immediately branded a douchebag or an asshole. I just think we need to put ourselves in others shoes once in awhile. That bouncer that didn't let you downstairs? That's probably not because he's trying to be a dick or abuse his power, it's probably because he's trying to do his fucking job. That driver that cut you off? Maybe he just didn't see you because of a parked car. Instead of assuming the worst of people, let's assume the best. Seriously, what's the worst that can happen? I find I feel better if I give someone else the benefit of the doubt and in many situations, I will never find out if I'm wrong or not so why not? If I assume the worst, then I just feel anger towards another person that I will never see again. It's silly.
So come on, let's all sing Kumbaya around a campfire....Just kidding.
This isn't some hippy love each other bullshit, but can't we at least be pleasant to one another? Can't we be polite to strangers who we know absolutely nothing about? Instead of immediately judging them on one silly mistake?
Can't we all just get along? (No we can't, but we could try to get along with some)