Whoa, eeeeh … I could not have reacted differently while driving my car on my way to the office in the morning with my daughter who was to be dropped to her college. Our car was few vehicles away at this traffic signal and we were patiently waiting for the green light to turn on. There was no space left on either side of my car on my lane to accommodate any other vehicle. The opposite lane was clear to allow the oncoming traffic. All of a sudden to our disbelief a guy with his car turns up from nowhere from the wrong side, overtaking me just to be on the front-line near the traffic signal. My natural reaction was to sound out to this not so gentleman for this impolite gesture. Well this is something not uncommon on the roads in this part of the world. Most often this leads to higher stress level while driving. Those who follow the rules meticulously and knowing that their personal space had just been violated, they can do little about it. It is frustrating how these dolts can do anything like this and still get away? A closer look at these traffic junctions and you will find other motorists trying to follow a similar trend. Everybody wants to overtake the other creating a snarl of sort and naturally slowing down the traffic at these junctions. We never realize that all will be served better if we simply follow the lane discipline and wait for our turn to move ahead. Why can’t we wait for our turn? Well, with the exception of some emergency situation, it is this “me first and I do not care after me” attitude is so impolite and unforgivable.
I am reminded of an incident during one of my first official trips to Europe, I was asked to take driving classes from a nearby driving school. I knew how to drive, but before allocating an official car to me my boss wanted to ensure that my behavior behind the steering wheel doesn’t become a concern to the other fellow motorists. I started my test and I must confess that I was pretty nervous. After a few miles of driving my instructor brought to my attention the pile up of vehicles behind me. I realized that in my pursuit of following the traffic rules in an unfamiliar country, I had become too cautious and was negotiating the turns very slowly. My driving instructor asked me to take the car aside to a lonely stretch of the road. In the next half an hour he shared with me some vital lessons on driving etiquette that I consider as invaluable even after so many years. His simple advice was that while I am enjoying behind the steering wheel, the other fellow motorists on the road have equal right to enjoy as well and I should not do anything untoward to cause annoyance to them.
This “me first” attitude is evident in every aspect of our day-to-day lives if we take as a matter of analogy. Look at our pedagogy system for instance. The performance in education is judged based on percentage scores. While the scores are important, our academic institutions ignore the necessity of a core value system from that tender age. The values imparted – are they good enough to help the kids cope with the challenges that life will throw at them when they grow up. The attitude of competing is pushed into our psyche from an early childhood as if it is a rat race to get ahead of others. If we remove that element of “competing” and instead focus on the spirit of “co-learning”, the entire learning process becomes more holistic.
Another example of this “me first” attitude too evident in our everyday work places almost anywhere in the world. In the quest of getting ahead of you, often you will find colleagues sweet talking on your face, but sharing a completely opposite picture regarding you at places that matter. These individuals will spend a major portion of their energies to analyze the weakness of their colleagues in order to show them in poor light instead of letting their own work performance do the talking. To climb up the growth ladder most often people with such mindset find this as the easier route by leaning on their colleagues and bring them down at any opportune moment. In today’s so called cut throat competitive world this is one of the major reasons for our work place stress. The onus is on the supervisors who should create the environment of “co-league”, “co-learning” and “co-existence” instead of focusing solely on the work and creating an island of their own.
The true meaning of “co existence” or “living together in harmony” is all about caring and sharing with each other. This is a habit that should be inculcated from the very early learning days.
What is your take on this, my dear? Do you feel the same way? If yes, then leave your comments in the box below.