I’ve lived in many cities across several states, visited plenty of places around this country and the world, and been in awe of the many unique differences amongst them all. But, if there’s one thing I’ve seen that’s been the same no matter where I’ve been, it’s the presence of impatient drivers.
While many people might claim their city to have the worst drivers in the world, no matter where I’ve been there always seems to be drivers riding on other car’s bumpers, angrily beeping their horns, flipping people off, and swearing profusely. Thankfully, I’m not one of them anymore, because I’ve learned that life is far more about the journey rather than the destination. Unfortunately, most drivers though are more concerned about their destinations rather than the journey.
I was greatly reminded of this just recently when heading home one afternoon while taking a right turn onto a bridge. Once safely on the bridge, a car suddenly raced up behind me mere feet from my rear bumper. With headlights flashing, they abruptly doubled their speed and passed on my right, then immediately cut me off to take the same turn I was about to take. A minute later, I found myself behind them, as they had gotten stuck behind another vehicle going the speed limit like I had been. In the end, the impatient driver arrived at their location no faster than if they had just remained behind me. Ironically, there’s been numerous studies done of this over the years, where two drivers leave for the same destination at the same time, with one driver doing the impatient type of driving, while the other doing the speed limit. In almost every case, the impatient driver arrived mere minutes ahead of the other.
In light of that, why is saving mere minutes so important to so many drivers all around the world? The amount of stress and tension in doing so, as well as all the missed opportunities for mindfulness is inconceivable. Personally, based upon my old aggressive patterns of driving, I tend to believe impatient driving is based upon the sole desire to gain some semblance of control in life, control of something because life often feels so very out of control for so many of us.
Regardless, while I know there are times in life where drivers might truly have an emergency that leads them to impatiently drive somewhere, the majority simply do it for the perceived notion that it’s far more important to get to their destination as quick as possible, rather than to experience the journey there.
I’ve struggled with my partner quite a bit with this over the many years we’ve been together, as he tends to be very impatient with other drivers on the road. His impatient driving usually puts him into bad moods and at times even causes him to miss out on having spiritually connecting moments with me. While I once was just like him on the road on a daily basis, it changed after I spent 10 days in silence on a meditation retreat back in 2005. There, I learned all about the importance of slowing down and paying attention to the journey rather than always racing to some destination.
So, while I may be more successful now with patient driving because of that retreat, I am learning that this lesson can be applied to many other areas of my life as well and tend to believe that the more I focus on being present on the journey instead of racing towards my destinations in life, I’ll probably be able to experience far more peace and joy along the way…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson