Monday, March 4, 2013

My Humbling Moment - How I Stopped Being an Aggressive Driver

The Musers on my radio station this morning were discussing calling people out for offensive behavior. This is my story of how someone did that to me and it changed my life forever.
Before this moment (I was probably 26 at the time), I will admit that I was a very offensively angry driver. I would cut people off, I would drive fast and speed. I was always was running late, so I would weave in and out of traffic, even on roads through the center of town, where the speed limit was 40 MPH. This one Sunday morning, I was late to my part time job as a server in McKinney. I was driving from one side of the city to the other on a road that was 40 MPH. It was probably 11 am or so, and it should be known that Sunday mornings in McKinney are laid back, everyone has nowhere to go so they are just moseying down the street. I, of course, was running late, so I was driving my red Chevy Cavalier like a crazy person, speeding, weaving, and probably being very ugly as I drove past people (I used to give a good, hard stare down to someone who was annoying me.)
When I got to work, I rushed to get out of the car, ran into work and got there just in time to see a couple, that I had just cut off and stared down, sit in my section. I didn't know if they saw me or not, but I was so embarassed that I ended up asking another server to wait on them. As they were leaving, the older gentleman passed by me and said softly, "Nice driving."
My cheeks turned bright red. My stomach leaped into my throat. I. Was. Mortified. And at that moment, as I watched him walk out the door, I made a commitment that I was no longer going to drive like that again. If I was running late, I was just going to have to be late and get there when I got there. I wasn't going to drive like a crazy person anymore. I wasn't going to be a totally and completely selfish human being who was ugly to other drivers because they were in MY way, keeping me from doing what I needed to do. Suddenly, in that moment, I decided that it wasn't worth it. The humiliation, the possibility of an accident resulting in my aggressive driving, it wasn't worth it. I wished I would have run out and shook that man's hand for calling me out on my immature and bad behavior, but that man will never know that on that Sunday morning, he changed my life forever.

It also made me realize that even when you think people aren't watching, even when you think you don't know random people you interact with during the day, you never know when they might cross your path. Live life like everyone is watching, because you just NEVER know.  
Has someone ever called you out on something you've done? Have you ever called someone else out for innappropriate behavior?


teacherjanet said...

Mckenzie, my 2 year old, has not called me out on my behavior but has acted out my behavior that I realized I didn't sound so nice. There is a turn around where people do not go even though they have a whole lane with which to yield. It annoys me so bad so I often and screaming, "Go you stupid people! You have a whole lane" Anyway, one day before I even said anything a little voice from the back seat said, "Go you stupid people!" HA! It was funny but also eye opening that I should control my anger especially when the kids are in the car. :)

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

Janet, I totally agree. Those little magpies are like recording devices!