Fuming while driving alongside the rude, inconsiderate boor of a driver who wouldn’t even look at me as she refused to let me merge—staring resolutely ahead as if not looking at me translated into not seeing me and denied wrongdoing in some supposed obliviousness. So I had to stand on my brakes, falling in behind her, staring daggers, as we turned onto the highway one after the other—me after her. She accelerated—all the better to put more distance between herself and the scene of her abominable behavior.
Within a mile though, her brakelights unexpectedly flashed, and we quickly made up ground as she lost speed, pulling over onto the shoulder and stopping as I blew past wondering what had happened—imagining thinking victoriously (and vindictively), “I did that!” As if all my outraged anger directed her way did something to—undid something in—her car, and didn’t I feel powerful!
Then I felt bad at such spite, and as if to atone for such thinking, wondered the opposite—a corny thought. What would it be like to have cars that ran on the corporate good will of all the other drivers (or most of them…. See, look a there, I’m already backtracking!)? Imagine being dependent on others—on the other drivers—for your own driving. Such that the question would no longer just be, “Can I merge, but can I merge without angering the person fast coming up behind me?” Not just “Is there room for me to squeeze into the next lane, but is the next next lane free for folks coming up behind me to get into?” Not just thinking, “I want to be first in line at the light, but if I go to the front of the line in the right lane, I’ll be blocking anyone coming up behind me who wants to turn right and wouldn’t have to wait if I weren’t there.” No longer just considering what I want, but equally considering what others might want … and how what I do affects that. And for anyone to make progress he or she would be utterly dependent on everyone else.
At the deepest levels of truth … far below corny, why would we ever think that’s not true?