By Lee Scott
I was driving along Sea Island Parkway a few months ago when a man drove up along side my car and gestured to me with one finger. It was not the kind gesture one likes to see. Naturally, I was a bit shocked and completely unaware of why I warranted such a gesture. I started to think about different ways to “gesture” back to him. Then I realized that I might have pulled out in front of him. “My fault” I said to myself. At the next intersection I pulled up next to him and mouthed “I’m sorry. I didn’t see you!”. He rolled down his window, looked at me for a moment and finally said, “Well be careful next time. Watch where you are going.”
I nodded and we both went on our way. At the next intersection, he pulled over to the right so he was next to me. He rolled down his window and I rolled down mine and he said, “Sorry about the finger.”
“Thank you.” I said.
That was our entire dialogue. Amazing how sometimes it helps to recognize when you are wrong. Accept the responsibility and apologize and have the person accept it. Fortunately he was not one of those people that started to question my intelligence by my hair color. Nor did he call me names when I apologized. He swallowed whatever he wanted to say and accepted the apology. We both went on our way.
I thought about this incident when I read in the newspaper about two guys in Hollywood, California who got out of their cars and started to fist fight. Two grown men fighting like two little boys on a playground. The reason for road rage most of the time is because one driver cuts off the other driver, sometimes without realizing it. The hormones take over and what could have been handled quickly and easily becomes an outright war. I realize that there are idiots out there driving. We see them weaving in and out of traffic all the time. But the road rage comes in when we decide to get upset about it rather than just backing down or calling the police.
So the next time you get gestured. Remember it could have been your fault. Smile and say “I am sorry.” Let it go and watch where you are going.