Jul 21, 2011

Inner and Outer Peace While Driving, Please!

Though I have my driving license for over eight years, maybe more (can't remember exactly when did I get it, but I think I wasn't working then, and I've been working 10 years now...), it hasn't been since recently that I've started to drive regularly. This also means, as you might imagine, that it wasn't up until recently that I re-learned how to drive. As quite a newbie in the craft, like most of the newbies, I tend to drive veeeeery carefully, sometimes too carefully, and that tends to drive mad the more "seasoned" drivers standing behind me, running late or in desperate need to reach the nearest bathroom. Road bullying is all over, nearly on every inch of the asphalt, concrete, gravel or dirt road, from the honking driver urging you to mindlessly risk your life throwing yourself to the oncoming traffic, right under the 16 wheels of a massive container truck - or worse, a cistern truck full of gas! -, to the maniac with a Vin Diesel complex, who cuts right before you, into your lane, tail no further from your little car's nose than the lenght of an average dick (this being something around 6 to 7 inches, sorry boys but you are hardly as big as you would like to believe you are), and then probably congratulates themselves at being so skilled as to manage a tight fit.

When driving under 30 mph (roughtly under 50 kmph), it's easy to dodge the Vin Diesels, and let them think they are Fast & Furious instead of what they are, Risky & Stupid, so you can always hit the break and avoid a trip to the mechanic. Of course, diving slowly - which helps you with the Fast & Stupid - gets the other kind upset. The Honk Beasts, are those who believe they have the right to be Legend. Yes, all alone in the planet, with no other car on the road. They want to drive over 100 mph (over 166 kmph) in urban areas, city centers and around schools and hospitals. Stop signs are not meant for them, those are only signs to decorate a corner or put some paint on the road. They don't want to stop and they don't aknowledge nobody's priority but that of themselves. It's like if they are on the road, they have automatically priority, which is why it upsets them to no end the "women driving" like me, the "newbies" and the "grandmas", who might dare to be driving on the lane they choose to drive on, and won't get out of the way like otherwise would when an ambulance is rushing through. Going slow is bad, but stopping is worse. However the unforgivable is to not only stop, but wait for a decent chance at moving.

As a person close to 40 (yes I am!!! ^_^), and a fairly newbie driver, there are a few things I can tell you. First of all, Honking Beasts can honk and curse and stop next to you and scream all sorts of things at you, all that rolls off your windowshield. They boil up their liver while you, my dear careful driver, save your car from an accident the moron would have pushed you into, and for which the asshole wouldn't take responsability, you save on medical expenses and the mechanical fees of all the cars damaged - yours included - AND you can take your car out the next day too. Also, you know you are doing things right, you are being careful and it's you the one behind the wheel and only you know how fast and precisely can you manuever, how could you react to something unexpected! So, as the Honking Beasts push themselves closer to a heart failure, not to mention all the other stupidities they might do on the road that could earn them a messy end and lost of limbs, you tune yourself to your inner voice, tap on your inner peace and bring it to the outer peace. Smile at the music on the radio, smile at the day, smile at the sky, smile at all the other drivers, be gentle, give space to those trapped in the traffic, in need of a kind soul to get a bit ahead.

Whether you are a seasoned driver, or a newbie driver, or just learning to drive, or even simply thinking at starting your lessons, please remember those first days and keep them in your heart. Drive gently, without haste. You don't need to hurry, you can be late today and remember tomorrow or next time that you need to get on the road that much earlier. Anger won't make other cars move faster or an accident to disappear, a roadworker to speed up. Anger will mainly affect you. It will make you stupid, it will damage your health, and it could bring sorrow to those around you and their families. So before you honk at the slow slugs, or start cutting in front of other cars, speeding into any available space to get faster to your destination, remember that those cars have people in them, people like you, who might not react the way you would like them to. Breathe, tune on your favorite radio station, plug in your iPod and listen to your favorite podcasts, or push in one of those great CDs you have around, relax, ease into the music, connect to nature, pass yourself into the organic-mechanic flow you are in, concentrate on gentle driving and wish all other drivers a safe journey.

You can be better, and that will make you happier! ^_^


Sartassa said...

Do you think the way of driving and behavior on the streets represents a countries’ population’s attributes? I once read in an article that Germans are supposed to be the most aggressive drivers in Europe even though they don’t hank as often as Italians … I have seen so many risky overtaking maneuvers by Germans that made me thing: this is going to end really, really bad. And in addition it’s the only country I know without a general speed limit on the motorways. Is the way of driving some kind of handwriting where you can “read” from it how people are? I don’t know…

Storm Bunny said...

Well, in my experience I can tell you, that the French drive quite calmly, but the pedestrians are stupid and cross streets like they are color blind or think that cars are still pulled by horses. Hungarians are quite calm drivers, except Kari, who feels the need to bark at anyone. In Panama drivers are animals. They speed up and purposefully go against traffic regulations. In Costa Rica they are stupid. A lot of drivers carry guns and shoot at each other at the least provocation. I wouldn't say their driving shows how they are, but I would say it show what they are repressing inside, either the need to fight or the need for more tenderness. What would you say?

Sartassa said...

Hmm that's a hard one ... Surprisingly most of the people I know that drive like crazy and shout at the others are calm and nice people in real life. It seems like they're turning into someone else as soon as they turn the key.
Some people have their dark second life character - other's have a weirdo car driver character ... it's like a role play.