I’d like to start by pointing out the obvious; if we put on glasses with pink lenses we would see a pink-ish world, and if we were to use blue lenses a blue-ish world is what we would see! We may not always choose the circumstances, but we do choose the lenses we put on and ultimately our experience as we go.
I was working in Dubai few years back, while living in nearby Sharjah where rent was much less, and many people chose the same option. This was exactly why the length of time it took to drive between the two neighboring cities needed three ‘crazy’ hours of traffic every morning rather than the usual twenty minutes. And instead of getting to work fresh and energetic I would reach there with countless demons on me! Every morning… loud honks… angry anxious faces… noises… people trying every nasty trick they know of to cut you off and get ahead of you while being mean and hateful to each other. That wasn’t my morning ‘cup of tea’. More often than not the traffic would be at a dead stop for ten minutes or more despite being on a six-lane highway. It was that bad! I may not have participated with all this road-rage, but it used to get to me. I used to hate the whole experience, and I guess I never accepted the fact that I was having to go through this every ‘damn’ morning…! I don’t want this road-rage and all the negativity around me!
One morning, however, not much different from all other mornings preceding it, I decided it was enough, and started to watch all the madness around me as if I wasn’t a part of the scene. It was suddenly very comical and didn’t make much sense. And so, I closed the windows, turned on the AC, and the music… I was in a world of my own now with one clear thought in my head: ‘I don’t care for this insanity anymore, and I want to enjoy the ride’… I did enjoy it; I surrendered and accepted the fact that this is how it is for now. I enjoyed every morning after; I would get up a bit earlier than usual, put on my clothes and a big smile, get in the car, have my favorite cup of white tea, put some relaxing music on, and go!
It’s really that simple; it’s just a decision that I made one time and every time after that… a simple shift of attitude was enough! I just decided to turn my road-rage into road-nice. I didn’t want to be a part of the problem anymore not even by thought or feeling, and I didn’t even want to go through the road as a neutral, daydreaming alone and never minding what’s happening. So, I would smile at other drivers at every chance, make it a point not to get upset when someone cuts me off but instead give way to others when possible, and do everything I can to make it smooth for me and others around me while still enjoying it all. The trick was giving the road my undivided attention so that the drive will no longer be a resentful chore, but a pleasant positive experience. Slowly but surely this ‘crazy’ morning ride became something I looked forward to, and I would eventually get to work so energetic as if I had been doing meditation for the last three hours!
Well, here’s what I also found; whether I had road-rage or not I was able to save 5 to 10 minutes at best… not worth it! Things were not nearly as bad as I thought they were when I had road-rage, and I soon discovered there were people who did the road-nice thing just like me… I just never noticed them before! A couple of weeks after this shift I learned of a route that I never knew of before, which was easier and saved me at least an hour every day. A month later I was able to find a nice and not so expensive place in Dubai, and so I got closer to work avoiding the traffic altogether. One might say this is a coincidence or that it would’ve happened anyway, but I know better! I know that when we stay positive through tough situations it will eventually bring about better situations!
I’m gonna try to make it real simple here…Be in control, but don’t think you control the road. During traffic jams; the more controlling one is the more likely she/he is to behave in a mad, insane, and anxious manner contributing to road-rage. On the other hand the less need for control one has the better and easier the road experience will be. In a big city traffic is more often than not inescapable and there’s nothing much that we can do about it, and this is exactly what makes it a very good exercise for our patience and tolerance level. This is the best way to look at it; just an exercise for us every day to stop wanting to control the uncontrollable, and to instead control our thoughts and feelings through awareness. The object is not to bottle it in and let it out somewhere else, but to accept it and use it to our benefit like an alchemist! Whether we decide to give it road-nice or road-rage, traffic will remain traffic, but being positive and cool with it is obviously the healthier and happier option, and indeed if more people can adopt a similar attitude our road experiences will get significantly better and most of our blood pressures will go way down!
So, create a cool and nice environment inside your car. Make it a second home if you must, and by all means just enjoy the ride!
For more information on Positive Driving pleas check out or PosiDriving post.
Bashaar Trefi was born and raised in Latakia, Al Ladhiqiyah, Syria, and attended Tishreen University and also Penn Foster Career School, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Bashaar loves symmetry and beauty applied in all areas of life especially Interior Design and Decoration.
Having lived in Syria during times of political unrest Bashaar has seen his fair share of human tragedy. He is dedicated to a world of peace and harmony and believes the foundation of such a world lies in the understanding and application of Positivity.