Monday, March 15, 2010

(Un)Intelligence


Hello Optimists,

Hope you had a great weekend! While I was out and about this weekend, I had a run in with a rather unpleasant lady with a serious case of road rage. Without going into detail here, let me just say that because of an error she made, her car came within a few inches of bumping into the car I was in. What could have been easily avoided if she had taken better judgement and even taken a second to pull back a few feet to avoid this close call, she felt the need to roll down her window and yell about how "%*#&!@* ignorant" we were. Now, I understand that people get all excited when others do things that interfere with their "well-being" but keep in mind that there was no car-to-car contact, no one got hurt, no serious issues....no, this lady was just inconvenienced for a split second and felt the need to express her feelings in an incredibly rude way.

I will admit that my first reaction was to go on the defensive; my face flushed with rage, I said way too many bad words in my head, and it took all I had to keep a certain finger from rising from my clenched fists. But after all was said and done, I realized that this lady's poor judgement and immaturity had taken control of me, and I was pretty close to stooping down to her level of thinking. As my internal temperature dropped back down to a healthy level, it occurred to me that we are all too easily stirred. It takes just one minor thing for us to lose all control and lash out, saying really offensive things to prove that....well actually, it doesn't prove anything. What good did it do for that lady to yell out her window at us? What difference would it have made if she just gave us "the look" and kept on driving? Was there a need for all of the theatrics? No. But what was most important about this whole situation was the reaction (or lack thereof) from the people I was riding with. Though, like I said before, I'm sure we all shot back pretty nasty things in our head, we remained calm and didn't really utter a word until all the "action" had passed.

This whole incident was still in my mind a few hours later, and it wasn't until then that I remembered a quote that would apply perfectly to this situation.
Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment. -Lao Tzu
This is something we must always keep in mind. We don't need to be yelling like crazy people or throwing a tantrum every time someone does something "stupid" or inconveniences us in some way. And we also need to learn not to respond to this treatment in a way that puts us on the same level that we were so offended by in the first place. We need to stop being so uptight about everything, and realize that sometimes people make poor decisions and sometimes (or a lot of times) we won't agree with decisions that other people are making. That's just how it goes.

So remember that we need to "keep our cool", remain calm, and be respectful to people (even if you do think they did something really dumb). Unfortunately people do not always respond intelligently to certain situations and have the tendency to take things a little too far. But we can learn to fix that by changing our response to it, and hopefully they can see how foolishly they reacted.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

2 comments:

  1. I left you a little something on my *blog!*

    ReplyDelete
  2. I can relate to this post -- I think we all can. I love the quote you gave by Lao Tzu. True words to live by...

    ReplyDelete

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