I am Enough Coaching
I witnessed a case of road rage the other day, I would like to share my experience of what I saw, the ripples as events unfolded and how each ripple lead to the next. Finally I would like to discuss how taking a moment to pause can stop the ripples and the escalation.
I was driving to work in my car, a car further down the road had pulled out of a junction in front of the car that I was following. As I saw this my immediate thought was, “wow, crazy man, he is cutting that fine” then the car in front of me slammed on its brakes so hard it actually skidded a little bit. This made me have to brake hard as well. My thoughts were; “that was close”.
What followed was crazy. This was the first ripple effect. The driver who was in front of me started blowing his horn, waving his hands at the driver in front and then he drove so close to him. Very dangerous and aggressive driving. As I said this was the first ripple effect that I witnessed, how this driver decided he had been wronged and that he was going to get his own back through his aggressive driving. I had to slow down, so that if they did hit each other and have an accident I wouldn’t be involved in it. A few times I was really worried they may hit each other and cause a big accident.
Then I witnessed the second ripple effect. Eventually both vehicles ended up at the bottom of a hill at a set of traffic lights. Still the horn blowing continued until one of the drivers got out of the car and approached the other vehicle and driver. Very quickly both drivers were outside their cars and were having a full on argument with plenty of swearing and pushing. This was the second ripple, the incident had escalated to another level, now instead of driving dangerously, and they were on the verge of having a fight. Why, because one driver had pulled out in front of the other person. I couldn’t believe I was watching these two grown men behaving like teenage boys in a school playground.
Next was the third ripple effect as the incident was just about to become worse for both of the men. Neither of them had noticed the Police car on the other side of the traffic lights that had been witnessing the whole event unfold. The Police car sounded its siren, turned on its lights and one of the officers stepped out of the Police car and indicated to the two men to get back in their cars and pull over to the side in a layby. Crazy, this was the third ripple I was witnessing. These two men were now in trouble with the Police and were getting pulled over and who knows what the outcome will be.
As I drove past, both cars were pulling over the Police car was pulling in behind them. I couldn’t help think that did this really need to happen? I fully understood how frustrating it was for the driver I was following who had to brake extremely hard. But that frustration, very quickly turned to anger, which then escalated to rage. Ultimately both drivers ended up having a chat with a couple of Policemen. If only the driver who was in front of me, had taken a moment to pause, to stop and think, to take a deep breath and think, “wow, that was close, but I am still alive” and had just been grateful for that fact, instead of flying off the handle and escalating the situation by driving aggressively and being aggressive toward the other driver things would have ended so much differently.
I never got to witness the fourth and then successive ripples, but I had no doubt that there would be other ripples. Both drivers, could have been given a fine, maybe charged with an offence, maybe incurred a fine and penalty points, which may have led to a suspension of their licence. Now if they needed to drive for a living, that loss of licence will have had a massive impact on them, and if they had a family, it would have rippled out through the family as well.
So let me take you back to the beginning of this series of ripples that I witnessed. I have to ask you a question, do you think any of these ripples would have happened if the first driver had not been in such a rush that he felt he had to pull out in front of the other car? Or, do you think any of this would have happened if the driver of the car that I was following, had not reacted the way he did to being pulled out on?
Do you think all of this could have been avoided if either of them had just taken a moment to pause and think about their actions and the consequences of those actions?
Do you think that this could have been stopped by either of them, by them actually controlling themselves in a better manner?
Can you see how the ripples just lead to the next level? How each level got wilder than the next? Then eventually how both of them ended up in trouble with the Police? Imagine for a moment, that one of them didn’t choose to react the way they did, the whole incident would have ended right there.
Now can you think of a time where you were so wrapped up in an event, that you got swept along in the momentum of that moment, without thinking, all of a sudden you have found yourself in trouble, with no real explanation for your actions, other than blaming someone else?
So the next time you find yourself getting caught up in something, remember to take the time to think, to press the pause button, to take a deep breath and say to yourself, where is this going to lead me? What is the outcome going to be? And, do I really need to be doing this? I am sure you will be able to quickly stop things from getting out of control once you do.
” You are Enough” to take control of yourself at any moment, do you have the courage to do it?
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I am going to blog and document the journey of creating 1000 Ripple Effects across the world.