Drive Like Your Children Play Here

It’s August on the East End of Long Island and, as with so many winter-sleepy towns, the summer rush never fails to flat-out amaze/low-grade appall…

In particular, the urgency with which people seem to need to get to “their” latte, “their” yoga class, or “their” beach often leaves me….confounded (Well, that’s one of the nicer words I can think of.)

The other day—as I contemplated pointing out my certainty to the driver who’d gone around me at the stop sign that he shared DNA with a jackass—I remembered Mother Theresa’s reported response to a request that she join them at an anti-war rally. “No,” she’s said to have replied, “but I’ll come to your peace march.” 

With this in mind, I changed my attitude. (OK, I began working on changing my attitude.) Why? Because, as I’ve noted before and I’m sure you’re experienced yourself, reprimanding others rarely ends in the results you seek. 

In fact, in the same way calling attention to your fellow drivers’ sub-par skill set by focusing on the negative has the potential to end in road rage, reprimanding your colleagues, your co-workers, your spouse or your children by focusing on the negative has the potential to end in office and home rage. 

As difficult as it is to take a breath and find a way to articulate your thoughts by (in the dream world) beginning with what you like about what they are doing and then moving along to how they might improve in other areas or—as is the case of driving—at least reminding them of your shared humanity, you’re likely to get better results if you do so.

Given that, further communication with others regarding my thoughts on their driving choices is going to include, “Drive like your children play here.”