Flipped me the Bird

(the finger)

This is for them....those people !
This is for them....those people !

After a few miles of tail-gating me ....

.... I was going seventy in a fifty five mph zone on the interstate, a driver passed me, horn yelling, then slowed down next to me. On the passenger side a hand arose from the open window and 'flipped me the bird.’

At first they upset me, sure, and I admit a few, just a few now, choice words echoed in my jeep, counter verbalizing of course, what their hand, and finger, had just said to me. Almost punched my gas-peddle, as they say, to catch up with them, and ... but these thoughts were ever so brief. I just didn't have it in me. My make-up wasn’t like theirs. That’s what they want me to do, I twittered myself My Twitter. Why join them? Why waste my time, my emotional energy as well as my gas energy on individuals lost in their immature antics of aggression and anger? They are probably having a hard time differentiating between real life and video games anyway. Their one finger was alerting me of their IQ. Or how many books thay’ve read since Middle School, if they have yet graduated, I wondered.

My  Y o u T u b e  Channel

Then, after this driver eventually sped on their ‘merry’ way ....

.... I thought further about this episode. This person, as many, tried to bestow their bad day, for whatever reason, on me. It really doesn’t matter what their deep seeded reason was, what mattered was how I was going to take it, if I wanted to take. Already I've taken it a little. The cursing in the car was evidence of that. And my comment about their IQ and reading habits. .....They left a little bit of their 'shit' in my car.

Was I going to allow these strangers to change my attitude for the rest of my day?

Was I going to grant these people that power over me?

This ‘present,’ as I prefer to call it, (I went on to think(, like twittering myself, this shit, I mean 'present,' is given when it’s not a birthday, anniversary or any occasion, even Christmas. This present isn’t a physical one, (hopefully it doesn't get that way) or in a box adorned with ribbons, or for that matter, can it be returned for a refund after it was opened. Nor can it be put on a list for Santa, the Easter Bunny, a Leprechaun, the Tooth Fairy or any other mythical caricature one can conjure up. But, by all means, my point of conclusion I came to ...since it wasn't a conventional gift or present, it is easier not to except it.

And don’t worry ....

.... nobody’s feelings will be hurt. Mainly, yours won’t be. The other; the instigator and giver of these such vulgar presents, will most assuredly find someone else that will except what they offer today. There are plenty out there that will open their present and join in this dangerous child-play. I’m just not one of them. I don’t mind, and to me these people just don’t matter. I refuse to except their present. And, I’ve taken it a step further; off the road, and I don’t even have a four wheel drive.

Anytime I come across someone that is mean, disrespectful, criticizes, condemns and complains or is plainly having a bad day and wants my day to be the same; I let them keep their present, smile and be nice, then go on my way. I think of what Groucho Marx had said, “hello, but I must be going.”

So ultimately, it is up to you, dear follower. If you want to let someone else, stranger or not, tell you how to feel on this day in your short life, then do it. Knock yourself out. Join them in their spread of gloom. I just choose not to; there’s too much beauty in this world and little time to enjoy it - to let someone that is sour change it, whoever they are and whatever their credentials. Whether it be a boss, co-worker, clerk, server, neighbor, relative, or an ‘X’. Or whether it is a creditor, news commentator, President or politician soliciting to keep their job, it’s all ‘rock and roll’ to me. And anyway, I owe it to myself, and you yours, not to open their gifts. Don't become unglued, all they did was ‘flipped the bird.'

Desiderata


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons: they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurtures strength of spirit will shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less then the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations.

-Max Ehrmann


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Comments 3 comments

clark farley profile image

clark farley 5 years ago

Ok, liked the Hub.

2 thoughts, not necessarily mutually contradictory, the first is the easy one, where I agree with the sentiment expressed in the Hub, which I read as, 'don't let them cause you to feel a certain way'. I not only agree with that, but I take it further, I refuse to expose myself to any more negative vibes than absolutely necessary, I do not watch the TV news or read the news papers or magazines or anything else that wants to tell me about the world beyond my direct physical presence. And it works! It is not easy at first, not only are the sources of bad news everywhere we go during a day, but our friends and family will try to hook you back into the bad news cycle ("what? You can't do that, you have to know something about whats happening in the world!") My reply is simply, "No, I don't"

It works and it is worth the effort (hell, I'm up to the point that I don't even watch the weather! Talk about people trying to get you worked up every day! 'Storm of the Epoch! Film at 11!!"

Now the second thing I would share is the opposite. It is a 'technique' for responding to those people who are trying to get in your way (automotively speaking), you know, the driver who drives so slowly as to cause 5 to 8 cars be bumper to bumper behind them. These are the drivers who you see put on their brakes as they go down a hill, lest gravity trick them into speeding 2, even 3 mph over the legal limit.

There is a thing to do to get these drivers to hurry up. I am not saying it is a good thing to do, it might even be considered dangerous, but it works. And I don't think anyone else has discovered it yet.

But I am running out of space so, I best come back later to impart this wisdom (or come to visit us at the Wakefield Doctrine).


johnwindbell profile image

johnwindbell 5 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies Author

Well, Clark Farley, ya have me on the edge of my seat for more of your imparted wisdom. Not only was your visit here welcomed and enjoyed, you put the finishing touches on my hub page. Thank you. Maybe now I'll have more comments....other than your part two comments, of course.

You have me worked-up, glad I'm tuned in, to be turned on.

Looking forward, John


clark farley profile image

clark farley 5 years ago

(questioning the wisdom of the hype...but here goes,)

My 'technique' works best on 2 lane roads with clear, breakdown lanes.

So you are driving along, minding your own business, trying to be a good and productive citizen. The car in front of you is proceeding at Speed Limit Minus 3 MPH, stolidly, with total disregard to all that is happening outside of the interior of the car (including, but not limited to the growing line of cars and irate drivers behind it).

When you are the (first) car behind this slow driver, here is what you can do that is so, very much more dignified than honking the horn or tailgating or any of the other un-imaginative approaches to the problem:

place your own car about 1 1/2 car lengths behind the offending car and gradually move towards the breakdown lane. Start by putting your right wheels on the line marking the breakdown lane.

Watch the driver in front of you (keep an eye out for bicylists and whatnot in the breakdown lane! lol), and play with the distance between you and the car in front.

When you are at a certain point behind the car in front, they will begin to adjust 'their' lane position to match yours! You will see the car in front begin to veer to the right. ...and then they will come back to the center of the lane...and then back.

Watch the driver, you should see that they seem to be getting uncomfortable (and this is the interesting part) but they don't seem to know why! (Hard to explain, but you will know it when you see it. )

Invariably they will speed up until their anxiety goes away.

(One rule, let them off when they begin to drive at a rational speed.)

No one is flipped off! No is shouting or doing anything stupid like tailgating, which can be very dangerous.

Of course, this is a very indirect method, so you will not 'win' in the sense that you directly force the other driver to speed up, however if influencing the driving behavior of the other guy is your only goal, this is worth a try.

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