Thursday, January 15, 2009

It doesn't affect me......

.... so why get upset about it?

A question I often ask myself when walking across the town. I gave up driving some seven years ago and usually get around by public transport or walk or (not so much these days), cycle. As a non-driver I get to notice more how drivers behave. Most are very courteous. I come to a road intersection and wait to cross. Many drivers slow down and wave me across. I always acknowledge this. Its nice when people are like this.

Others totally ignore me but that is their affair. Its the little things that niggle me. Things like seeing a car parked on a double yellow line or drivers who mount the pavement or those who park on the pavement. All of this is illegal. But it doesn't directly affect me.

Yet I get annoyed by it.

Usually in a rather Victor Meldrew-ish sort of way. When I realise that particular mindset has kicked in I suppress the urge to act on it, which is probably just as well as it would be a quick way to make enemies. Good Zen training I suppose.

It is interesting how the mind latches on to popular misconceptions though. Take the aforementioned traffic violations, for example. If it is done by the driver of a 4WD/SUV it is all too easy to say, "Typical". But if it is an ordinary vehicle involved it doesn't seem so high profile. We see the 4WD/SUV as the big bully of the road or public enemy number one.

It wasn't always like that.

In my motorcycling days it was big Volvos that were the villains. There wasn't the profusion of big 4WDs then. A Land Rover was really a tin shed on wheels then and only driven by farmers and suchlike.

So to get back to the beginning, why do I get upset about minor traffic violations that really don't have anything to do with me? Strangely enough, this only bothers me here in Britain. In Cyprus they are far worse but when I'm there it really doesn't matter. There's some good teaching in there somewhere.

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