24 May 2014

Choosing Your Attitude

Yesterday I witnessed a most unusual incident, actually it was more than that, it was an extraordinary incident.

I was the third car at a junction, waiting to move onto a main road. It reasonably busy, as most people were on their way to work. My attention was on the two cars in front of me, but from what happened I guess there was a slight gap in the oncoming traffic, and the driver of the second car assumed the driver in front would go. You’ve guessed it, the first driver didn’t go, so the second car smashed into it.

I can hear you asking, so what’s unusual or extraordinary about that. In itself nothing, it’s what happened next that made it extraordinary. Both drivers got out of their cars. The female driver of the second car apologised, and was so obviously upset at causing the accident that the other driver, also female, gave her a hug.

I admit to a bit of gender bias here, but as I drove away after the incident, I was so impressed with the driver of the first car. The last thing anyone wants, or needs, on their way to work is to be involved in an accident. The damage wasn’t horrendous, but both cars will need to visit a garage. It wasn't an intentional act, but unfortunately our fast–paced lives seem to predispose us to anger. We react as if the other person did it intentionally, forgetting about the times we may have been in a similar situation and only narrowly missed causing an accident, and I certainly include myself in that.

If I wore a hat, I’d take it off to the lady yesterday morning. She turned what could have been an acrimonious encounter, into one that was resolved in a far more pleasant way. It certainly made me more aware (once again), of the importance (for our own well-being), of choosing our attitude rather than letting it be chosen by other people or situations.

On a lighter note: 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

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