Today I responded to a driver’s hostility with my own hostility–she beeped at us and I flipped her the bird. She was behind us at a four way and we stopped, and we’re going across to park on the side of the street. She was in a rush and she beeped. I found her beep to be uncalled for and I flipped her the bird. As we parked, she pulled up to roll down her window (an embarrassed boyfriend in the passenger seat) and talked some smack. What was said doesn’t really matter. Nothing meaningful was said. She certified herself as an idiot. The exchange meant exactly zero to me. But what I’ve taken from this encounter, in retrospect, is that you cannot solve a problem by duplicating or one-upping the problematic behavior. There are people out there in their own situations with their own motivations or worries that sometimes let that pour on to others without even realizing it–like her taking out her initial aggressiveness on us, and then using the equal response I provided to find legitimacy or fuel for that.
Point in case, it was a rare moment that I forgot to take the high road. And I had to waste a couple minutes of my life entertaining this fool for the very behavior that she herself promoted (and as expected felt inspired to one-up). When people behave reckless or absurdly it doesn’t mean that we should follow suit–that’s a beginner’s mistake. It’s an opportunity to practice empathy, patience, and if anything piss them off even more with unsinkable compassion and love.
So to the name calling horn blowing bird flipping wench in that hideous yellow Kia Soul…I hope that your day improves such that you can feel less in a rush or at least chill enough to handle it when people respond to your unnecessary car horn. Then again, I can also see how hard it would be it not feel bitter towards humanity having to drive around in that eyesore.