For many years I was a daily commuter, taking the M4 to London and back at peak times. I also spent a lot of my time behind the wheel; visiting clients, suppliers etc. So I experienced a lot of irritation – people cutting in, driving erratically, manoeuvring without using their mirrors or their indicators and similar outrages.
My blood would boil; sometimes I would flash my lights or sound my horn or shout at them. I could remain upset for ages and, of course, nothing had any effect, because bad drivers seldom realise they are bad (and some don’t care anyway!) Only I suffered!
But think about it. We all do stupid things from time to time. In fact, I am sure I have been guilty of all the things that I just mentioned at some time or another. And not just once – I’m a multiple offender!
Realising this makes me far more forgiving. Maybe the driver who cut in was rushing to attend to some emergency; the indicator felon is probably an exemplary “Mirror, signal, manoeuvre” practitioner most of the time. Admittedly, I find it harder to be calm about the slow driving, middle lane of the motorway hog but I do my best. After all, no matter what I do or how many hold ups there may be, I get there in the end
Guess what? I finish most of my journeys with lower blood pressure and a happier disposition when I make allowances for my fellow driver. And that does not apply only to car journeys. Almost any aspect of life can be improved by relaxing and choosing the charitable interpretation of others’ actions. Always remember, you too are probably guilty of all the things you find so irritating in others.