revving it down the road…

As previously noted, the Intramuralist took so-called “the show on the road” for most of the past two weeks. There were people to see, graduations to celebrate, meetings and more to attend to.

Over the course of those two weeks, my son and I expected to journey an approximate 3,000 miles. Knowing, therefore, that significant time would be spent in the car, we wanted to delight in that time — thus renting a pretty sweet car. Let me just say, a brand new, V6 Camaro convertible rides very, very well.

Save for some friendly smiles, a few thumbs up, and some teenage heads turned, our automotive splurge was mostly a treat enjoyed by me and my son. Granted, there was one moment that slightly strayed from said narrative…

We were in a midwest suburb, on a four lane, 45 m.p.h. road, slowing to red light. Prior to our stop, a lime green, Kia Soul sedan whizzed right in, in front of us, seemingly needing to be first to go when the light turned green.

I was still making my way toward the stop when my passenger teased me about taking advantage of the power of a V6 engine. Not one to resist a friendly dare that is perceived harmful to no one, instead of coming to a stop behind the Kia, I decided to have some fun with the situation and moved into the adjacent lane, coming side-by-side to the car which had just pulled in front of me.

Sitting at the red light, we could see that the two lanes would merge maybe 100 yards in front of us. Hence, after thoroughly checking the surroundings, when the light turned green, I hit the gas and gave my car an immediate go. It was awesome!

Now let me just say, that my car never reached any majorly significant speed; it was simply that my vehicle was able to accelerate faster than all those around me. We endangered no one nor any other vehicle.

But that seemed lost to those in the Kia car. After we safely pulled in front of them with far more than ample space, the driver honked long and loud, offering obscene gestures, and her passenger actually stuck his head out the window, screaming a few choice profanities. They then tailed me extremely closely, obviously irritated by my intended-to-be playful act.

So let me pause there for a moment… making a few, basic observations…

I truly intended to be playful. I realize several would not approve of my behavior, which is completely valid. It is also true that my choice endangered no one.

What’s additionally true is that the only difference now for those in the Kia Soul was that they had to be behind me; they weren’t first. They were not delayed. They were not in danger. They were not even slightly detoured in the way in which they wanted to go. They simply were no longer first in line.

That’s what prompted me to ponder further…

What is it about current culture that compels one to scream and shout simply because they are no longer “first”? … that the situation is no longer proceeding the way they wanted it? Is there an entitlement factor here?

… If it’s not my way, I’m going to let you have it…

If it’s not my way, you must be in the wrong…

Not only are you wrong, but you deserve to be scolded!

… flipped off!

… told offf!

… punished…

… because it must be my way

It must be mine.

There is an element embedded here that seems vastly unhealthy (… yes, way beyond any small semblance of drag racing…).

The unhealthy element is this need to tell people off when we don’t like their behavior… this need to put down others because we don’t like how their actions affect us. It’s not about being in danger; it’s about what we don’t like in another.

That’s just it. We magnify what we dislike. The behavior of another may or may not be a big deal, but we are justifying our over-reaction.

That doesn’t sound good and healthy and wise…

Respectfully…

AR

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