Patience, right now.
impatience can kill
Driving down the highway and a large SUV with a large boat is passing the car. The driver forgets he has a boat trailing and swings back into the path of our car. It is a close call. Unfortunately for that driver, ahead was a semi hauling logs and the road prevented him from passing that truck. But down the highway a mile or two was the freeway anyway. All these actions would be for nothing.
Roger Miller - Hot rod Lincoln
I've done it too..
I write this because I have been that impatient and unsafe driver in the past. Why do we go faster than the speed limit? What motivates us to make choices based on impatience? Our whole culture seems based on impatience. I feel it in the line at the check out counter at the grocery store. Is it caffeine or poor planning? Clockwatchers unite. How rude to be late. How important to get to the theatre before the movie starts.
There is nothing wrong with being on time. It is an admirable quality to even be a touch early. Employers like that. I have gone out quickly, driving away before realizing I had forgotten the cell phone or my wallet. I had to return, compounding the problem.
Then there is the unexpected road construction project with long lines of traffic. In the winter, there are icy roads, and cars that have gone too fast spin into the ditch and wait for the tow truck. Sometimes I have gone too fast for the road conditions, followed too closely. Tonight, a small white dog wanders across the highway in front of me; I hit the brakes and miss the dog, but worry about being rearended by the car following so close behind. Impatience.
Why do people crowd us on the road, shining their headlights into our rearview mirror? Is it more than impatience, maybe discourteous, and unsafe? What health factors enter in, as we drive down the road? Is our chest tight with tension? Does our head pound with pain? I have felt that tension, sometimes being the driver behind a vehicle going way too slow for my taste. It is difficult when the the vehicle is only going forty in a fifty five mile an hour zone. Then I am the impatient one.
Airports with long corridors and masses of people are recipes for impatience. The escalator only goes so fast. The monitors tell you your time is slipping away before the flight leaves. You didn't sleep so well the night before you left. You worry about the flu bug and just getting to the right gate before boarding.
I suppose impatience can make me sick. It is when I forget my hands are covered with germs and rub my eyes or nose. It measures my one sided imaginary conversation with the car in front of me going too slow. I am guilty.
I hope patience comes to me with more maturity. I am tired of being angry and impatient. I know it is related to my breathing and pulse and gut. I also don't have any control of people being impatient with me, with my driving, or my check out time in the grocery aisle. I can assume drivers will do dumb or insensitive things and factor that in. Some may drive slowly for economic reasons or health reasons.
In the meantime, I hope I have communicated that impatience can be deadly, especially on the highway. I desire that my driving is safe. I also desire that my travels reflect a measure of planning which allows the luxury of going as slow as the driver in front of me, and when (or if) I do pass, it is done in a manner that reflects good judgement, not impatience. There are times when I drive slowly (an old truck going to a landfill with a heavy load), or with a load of firewood, that I would prefer others pass and even pull over when it is safe to do so and let people pass.
Feeling Groovy by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
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