We Cannot Control Others
One of my core values is to treat others with kindness and respect. As you know, the way people treat us is a reflection of how we treat ourselves and how we treat others. Over the past few weeks as I have been practicing My Year of Gratitude, I find that I am slowly becoming better at controlling my emotions and looking at situations from the other person’s perspective. It makes it easier to avoid frustration when you take a beat to empathize with someone and lead with kindness and understanding.
This is a big challenge when it comes to driving! There is a lot of road rage here in Southwestern Ontario, partly because lanes on all of the major highways in and out of Toronto have a temporary HOV (2+) lane due to the ParaPanAm Games (it was 3+ during the PanAm Games) so many of the highways are down to 2 lanes instead of three for the majority of drivers. While driving in Toronto earlier this week, I truly did my best to stay calm and be proactive, rather than reactive on the road. Which is not always easy because there are some very rude drivers! We almost got into a collision when a driver driving large Yukon basically pushed her way into our lane at the very last minute to get to the on ramp of the Gardiner Expressway (highway out of the downtown core).
Gratitude Tip: Avoid road rage by remembering that you will always get to your destination exactly when you are supposed to. Leave earlier than needed to give yourself a cushion for traffic and other road issues that are out of your control. Be kind and courteous to other drivers and stay as calm as possible by breathing deeply when in a stressful situation.
True, we cannot control others’ behaviors and attitudes but we can always control our own. And the more we all treat each other with kindness, love, respect and gratitude, the more people will start to change. It’s a beautiful ripple effect.
What are your strategies for avoiding road rage? What do you do when someone cuts you off or waits until the last second to merge? I’m curious to hear what other people do.