Saturday, 8 September 2007

Road Rage

This week, my wife, after having nearly been knocked off her bike by one driver, was subjected to a whole string of totally unjustified expletives, honking and the 'finger' by a second (female) driver. Women tend to be a lot less aggressive so it was a bit surprising. But this woman had clearly 'lost it' over nothing. Perhaps the driver was having a bad day... who knows? Apparently, the UK has one of the worst road rages in the world. We certainly have anger management problems. I've always suspected that underneath the traditional politeness there is a lot of violence and anger wanting to get out. We English are a repressed bunch, I think.

The roads are a mirror to the soul and it's where our raw selfishness and narcissism come out most clearly. Thousands of egos are competing with each other for limited space. Thinking about road rage biblically, it seems to me that it reflects a desire to want to be (a rather nasty version of) God. It's like I feel I am in charge of the roads and everyone has to do what I bid them to do. No-one should cross me and if they do I will vent my wrath on them. I need to control everyone else around me and if they don't do as I desire then I will crush them. Road rage increases to the extent that I demand that everything and everyone be ordered around me and my needs.

How do you defuse it? By recognizing that I am not God, I am not in charge, I cannot control the world and that people will always do things that cross me.