I'm stopped at a red light.
My hands relax on the steering wheel as I watch for the green. Nothing of interest happens as I wait for the light to change. Not usually, that is.
Today is different; I have front row seats for a brief drive-by show.
She's a prudent driver, staying just within the speed-limit as she crosses the intersection and turns right. He's madly rushing, stop-starting, revving and braking inches behind her.
She's calm, with both hands firmly on the wheel, and both eyes on the road. His free hand gesticulates wildly out the window, punctuating the expletives pouring from his mouth, as he gears up and steers with his other hand.
He's fuming. She's oblivious.
I wish I had a video camera and this guy's address. He obviously doesn't realise how idiotic he looks- ignored by the object of his anger; and observed by dozens of amused rush-hour commuters.
* * *
What is it about driving that transforms mild-mannered, nice people into revving road-rage racers?
I know many of these people. In real life, they are courteous, responsible and family oriented. On the road they mutate into monsters. How?
I think it has to do with the feeling of control. Take the wheel and you assume control. You direct and your car obeys.
You choose the route, destination, travel-time, speed and driving style. This is your journey.
What you haven't necessarily considered is that you don't control the traffic volumes, the red lights, the drivers next to you or ahead of you. You actually control very little of the journey.
When it doesn't go as you had expected you get upset, angry or possibly aggressive. And all because you thought you were in control.
Interesting insight into life, this road rage is.
Believe you're in control and you're bound to be frustrated. Accept that there will always be variables outside of your control, and that your job is to know how to respond to them, and you will remain calm. And happy.
* * *
Judaism centers on the Ten Commandments.
Rule #1: G-d is always in control.
Rule #2: If you think for a moment He is not in control, see Rule #1.