There have been various articles written about road rage. Some articles give results of surveys. Some of them will give suggestions on how to keep someone else, or yourself, from getting enraged. What I would like to talk about is why we have road rage.
Today we have a culture where we are obsessed with ourselves.
Many will throw out our own accountability and right along with it, the authority of any others. People will say that they are offended when in actuality they just don’t want to engage in intellectual conversation. Schools, society, and the media are conditioning people to think that there is no one to respect, or to be considerate of, especially when you are not comfortable with your circumstances. We get angry for any reason that we want to and don’t anyone dare try to talk facts with us as when they do they are not respecting us.
What this boils down to is one main problem – SELFISHNESS.
We can define selfishness as being concerned about one’s self excessively or exclusively and with no regard for others. Self-centeredness would be a synonym.
Most of the problems that we read about in the newspapers have the same root – we are thinking only of ourselves and probably too highly of ourselves.
Murders happen because of selfishness. Drunk driving occurs because of selfishness. Riots develop out of selfishness. Road rage ignites from selfishness.
When selfishness is allowed to abound or rule, self-control and reason either take a back seat or are completely thrown off the bus. Selfishness will not allow for anything to be a reason for another driver to do what they did. Selfishness will say that you must have respect from those around you, sometimes at any cost, or at least without counting the cost.
When we are in a big truck and the other persons are in a four-wheeler, and we decide to “teach” them a lesson, we are taking risks that we would take “offense” to if someone would be doing that to us. Not only that, but we are now willing to take a risk that may take someone else’s life and land us in prison.
It is easy to get angry when drivers around us perform unsafe stunts or act as though you are not even around. If we were police officers, we would be able to bring many communities out of debt with the revenue that we could bring in from all the citations that we could write. What we need to do, though, is get right down to the heart of the matter. Which is OUR heart. The innermost thoughts and feelings that we have.
Let me say this: anger in and of itself is not wrong. It is the inappropriate response to anger that causes problems to arise.
Selfishness will take anger and ignite rage resulting in careless actions. We can be angry when someone cuts us off or does a brake check in front of us. If we make the wrong choice and let selfishness rule, we will try to teach them a lesson or retaliate.
However, If we decide not to be selfish but rather take appropriate actions, (activate recorder, develop appropriate space between us and the offending vehicle, making sure that people aren’t going to be hurt), then anger is a catalyst for good actions instead of fits of rage.
A wise man once said:
“Do not be eager in your heart to be angry,
for anger resides in the bosom of fools.” - Eccles. 7:9
Release what makes you angry. Many people have regrets over what they did when they were angry. Don’t be one of those people. Don’t do something that may embarrass the company, get you in trouble, or endanger someone’s life.
Be the professional.