At the risk of sounding like a relic, I have to say that sometimes it seems like there is no such thing as common courtesy on the road anymore. It use to be you could turn on your blinker, and people would make room for you to change lanes. That’s right. The blinker was like a request. “May I come over?” Then your buddy in the next lane would ease up on the accelerator just a little bit. Not enough to make him late for work, but just enough to say, “Sure! There’s room for both of us.”
When I learned to drive, I was instructed to go slowly in parking lots because people who were backing up didn’t necessarily see you. Then if you saw their white reverse lights, you stopped so they had time and space to back up. Nowadays, if you see someone backing up, the protocol seems to be to honk so they know you’re barreling through.
Yesterday I made the mistake (or was it?) of going out of turn at a 4-way stop. We’ve all been there. You think you’re next, but maybe someone else thinks their next. So I went. As I passed the woman who obviously thought she was next, she gave me a look of horror like I had threatened the lives of her children in the back seat.
Call me sensitive, but a middle finger, a honk or a dirty look, can ruin my day. I’d be willing to bet if you knew me, you wouldn’t want to ruin my day.
And you know what? Today in a parking lot I almost pulled out in front of an SUV due to a huge pile of snow blocking my view. I slammed on my brakes enough to skid a few feet. You know what the woman in the SUV did? She waved at me and smiled! And that simple act revived my faith in humanity.
Would you rather ruin someone’s day, or make the world a little better place to live? You have that power.
Peace . . .