“Your speediness will be rewarded in the next life” – Simpsons.
I know exactly the way I should react in confrontational situations, but a lifetime of fighting my corner is certainly hard to break out of. It’s been a long journey through those realms of nature and nurture that have acted to cultivated my character in its raw.
It was bound to happen! Picture the scene, three rows of car traffic manned with Fred Flintstone macho types, first thing in the morning vying for corresponding lanes on a rush hour roundabout.
I’d used this approach route many times before and had spent some time previously considering the finer detail of the lane layout. It was a bit confusing to say the least but I’d secured the right lane on the approach to take me swiftly into the middle roundabout lane. All previous considerations had stood me in good stead over the last couple of months and most fellow motorists seemed to have arrived at the same maneuver and route.
But then this morning came and we all revved our engines and off we drove onto the roundabout. But another car and I both jostled to occupy the same space. I nudged ahead slightly and this mean lean racing machine was going to tumble over himself in order to get the middle lane. Lets face it I’d had my morning coffee and was ready to take on all comers. Fortunately I won the race and triumphantly glided into the winning middle lane from an outside right entry.
Then followed what I guess was predictable. The loud beeping of a horn from my back near side. Then the man in the white van maneuvered from my rear near side to my right side in a flash of nimble car driving dexterity.
A young lad full of the passions and flushes of youth, mouthing something from inside his chariot van which looked like a good imitation of Mr Bean. All lips and exaggerated mouthing of aggressive and directed verbiage.
Of course not to be out done, down came my drivers window and what followed was an exaggerated explanation of his misguided attempt to invade “my space”. I was making a good mime artist given that his window was up and he couldn’t hear me anyway. We then parted our ways having shared an interesting short moment traveling the same time line together. Impermanence thankfully has its benefits.
For the next few miles of my journey I retold the story of my encounter to myself and altered the true reality of events to placate my own sense of egoistic self.
On reflection I learnt that all the reading done by me in a lifetime is no substitute for real mindful practice. Having written a blog entry only the day before on the subject of how to deal with difficult people all that I can hold up high as a personal trophy is that “I was fearless in the face of blame and hostility”. I did however, in consoling mitigation, reflect on the event and hopefully gained a modicum of insightful wisdom after the fact.
I am a work in progress with a sense of the right path but with a compass that is in need of further calibration and orientation.