Most people are prompted to write because they have some terrible experience or because they have a burning message in their heart they need to share.
In my case, it’s a little of both.
On Saturday, Curtis (he’s very wonderful) and I drove into Chicago from the suburbs. Since it was rush hour, the drive that should have taken us one hour took us two.
By the end of the trip—though I’m neither prone to fits of rage, nor inclined to acts of anger—I was having a rather tortured experience. You know the feeling: when you sit for 20 minutes in a line of cars at a traffic signal and just when you’re about to go through, a speeding car cuts you off. It inspires some grim emotions.
What if, instead of looking out for their own gain in driving, people were thinking about each other?
Ground rules for driving in traffic and in general:
Growing up, my sister gave me one ground rule for driving: imagine you’re balancing a glass of milk on your head, and drive accordingly. AKA, your grandma doesn’t want to get whiplash from the half-mile drive to the grocery store.
Think you can make the light, but you’re not quite sure and there’s a semi speeding toward the intersection? Practice critical thinking. For everyone except the man himself, driving is not a time to be padding the Evel Knievel section of your resume.
If you’re letting cars in on purpose instead of trying to keep them out and waving your hand angrily when you get cut off, it pays in two ways. 1) You don’t get a rage ulcer from repeatedly not getting your way, and 2) good will begets good will. If everyone is being kind to the other drivers on the road, everyone will get receive positive benefits from it.
If every Chicago driver lived by these rules, we’d have fewer accidents, fewer heart attacks, and fewer gray hairs.