I had a terrible dream last night. I was in a wheelchair roaming around downtown Barberton. That was not the terrible part. The terrible part was that there was another guy in a wheelchair in front of me who I couldn’t get around on the narrow sidewalk and I KNEW he was going slowly in a valiant attempt to tick me off. The way I knew this was true was that when we got to a place where I could pass him, he started wheeling as quickly as he could.
The dream ended with me getting out of my chair and punching him.
Are there not enough real life events such as this that I need to dream about it? There’s the car that does the same thing on one lane roads, the guy that blocks the whole highway by riding at the exact same speed as the truck in the only other available lane, there’s having to stop on your bike to let someone pull into their driveway EVEN THOUGH you haven’t seen another car in an hour and there is not one other person pulling in or our of their driveway for miles in either direction but still you have to stop.
Or, or, or if you slow down to let someone else coming in the other direction get around a parked car AND THEY SLOW DOWN TOO so the next time you say to yourself, “I am NOT slowing down this time because the other person just will to,” AND THEY DON’T.
There are, in general, two ways to handle the situation. The first is to get angry and assign all kinds of malevolent intent on the part of the other person, the cosmos, or God. This can result in a general raising of blood pressure, the side effects can be loss of volume control in your voice, tourette like symptoms of speech, and the involuntary raising of certain digits. Once infected, the lingering feeling from these symptoms are difficult to shake and can lead to needing to see the Divine Doctor in the confessional.
Here is at least one alternative: Say that every time you are delayed, cut off, or otherwise put off course you were being saved from something. Assume it is your guardian angel in the other car. Maybe these few extra moments mean that you wont run in to that annoying person who will give you a cold, or that you will miss being in a accident, that somehow your life is going to be better because of this annoying few moments - not the least of which will be that you have exercised and made stronger the virtue of patience within you. This may sound pie-in-the-sky but I am amazed at how often it is true. So instead of getting angry, you learn to say, “Thank you.”
BUT WHAT IF THE GUY IN THE OTHER VEHICLE REALLY IS JUST BEING A JERK? That may be absolutely true. But if you get angry, then he is a jerk and you are an angry jerk. It is better that they are a jerk and you at least grow in patience and thankfulness. And who says God doesn’t use jerks to advance his plan? It’s yours to win no matter what.