by Sunny Simon
About one day too late I read an inspiring story about a driver. The account was told by a fellow coach who hired this driver for three days while on a Canadian business trip. Our hero, the driver, a big guy named Ryan, while chatting with the coach explained that people honk at him all the time. Rather than responding in a negative fashion, he does something quite unusual. Trying his best to catch up with them at the next stoplight he gets out of his car and lightly, with a kind smile on his face, taps on the horn blower’s window. When they consent to rolling the window down he gently reaches in and surprises them…with a hug!
When I finished reading the account of this gentle giant, I had what I call a “V-8 moment” which I’ll get to in a minute. (I’ m reminded of that old commercial where an individual slaps his forehead declaring he could have had a V-8 instead of whatever he was drinking).
The other day, a man seriously out of line, sat a light behind me rudely beeping his horn encouraging me to make a left turn when I did not have proper visibility. Getting frustrated I had a “blonde moment,” made the turn, and almost got nailed by, you guessed it, a car I could not see coming. When I pulled into the driveway to our development, my rude horn-blower followed at what he considered a distance safe from my retaliation.
Throwing my car in park I stormed back to his vehicle and initiated a bit of a shouting match. I was angry with him, but truth be told, it was my own fault for letting this impatient driver get a rise out of me. I know better than to make that turn when a car on the other side of the light is blocking visibility to oncoming traffic.
My V-8 moment occurred when I wondered what might have happened if I “pulled a Ryan,” and reached into his car to hug him. Certainly would have been a bit of a shock to both the impatient man and his wife who sat next to him wagging her finger at me.
Displaying my temper is very rare. Reacting in a bit of road rage is inexcusable. Ryan’s story reminded me we get to choose how to react to a situation. Next time an impatient driver honks, I may not get out an offer up a hug, but I vow to at least flash a smile. Wishing you a year filled with more smiles than honks. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at www.raisethebarhigh.com