In The Wrong Lane

Have you ever found yourself in the turn lane and suddenly realize that the tide of traffic is taking you the wrong way? A destination either unknown or completely off track. Something we want to avoid happening, so we politely put on our signal and try to edge into the correct lane. Often we are met with other drivers who ignore our plead. They are doing it on purpose – or they are in their own little world and oblivious to our struggle.  Either way frustration courses through us. Hands waving, curses tossed, aggression and perhaps fear surface.

Will we make it to our destination? Of course we will. We might have to circle back and turn on the GPS (thank you, modern technology), but we will get to where we are going. I think the frustration comes from two areas, with the first being irritated that others don’t see that we need help. They take it upon themselves to leverage their position. The correct lane is protected by these arrogant people who think they are better than us. They aren’t better than us. In fact, we have all been that person who won’t let another soul in front of us.

This is where in your head you are saying something like, they don’t deserve it, they were trying to cut ahead and it’s not fair. What if I were to tell you, that’s their story and not yours. Who cares. Walking in someone else’s shoes is impossible. Especially in a situation where the person is completely anonymous. They have a sick child at home, their wife is in labor, they had a bad day work and just want to get the hell out of there. Their story.

Secondly, I believe the frustration comes with time constraints we assign ourselves. Often when we are driving from point A to point B we have a destination and an ETA (estimated time of arrival) in mind. Getting off course could alter our entire day, so we panic. In the real scheme of things, what is an extra few minutes? Even if we are meeting someone, won’t they understand we took a wrong turn?

This post isn’t about cars and road rage. It’s about getting off course on personal goals and life in general. Set on our way we suddenly realize we are veering off track. We look for help and sometimes we can’t find any. At times our goals are met later than we had hoped. People prevent us from reaching goals, often due to their own stories. I think the best resolution to this mess is to be a better person as both the driver in the correct lane and the driver who needs to merge. Accept that you don’t know everyone’s story and be more willing to lend a hand.

I personally like the feeling when I allow someone the space they need, and get a friendly wave. Maybe I just provided that person the most kindness they have seen all day/week/year. Help their story out just a little.

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