I was driving to some menial errand the other day, unrestricted by any sort of deadline or pressing task. So, of course, I get aggressively cut off (and nearly trade paint with) a merging Accord that felt it had yielded for far longer than it should have. Needless to say, it got my Irish up; but, such are the slings and arrows and it’s a minor infraction in the grand scheme. That would’ve been the end of the story, but then I saw the sign…
Annoyance turned into self-righteous fury and here I am.
I don’t hate children. I don’t hate parents. I try not to hate anyone. We’re all pretty much the same kind of people, dealing with the same kind of errands, driving the same roads. They could’ve had a great reason to rush ahead of me and risk that paint swap; or they could’ve just been impatient. It doesn’t matter. It’s all about the sign.
The difference here is sympathy vs. empathy. These signs are meant to make a plea directly at your emotions. Force you to ask yourself, “Why am I getting mad?” or “Why am I cutting THEM off?” After all, THERE IS A BABY IN THAT CAR!
Whereas I would ask: Why did you cut them off to begin with?
We’re all people; we all deserve the same respect that is due to the strong and meekest of our species. You should treat that Accord that cuts you off with the same reserved rationale as the Semi-truck that waves you ahead. Empathy should be THE rule of the road, and the no. 1 rule of how people should live their moral lives.
But, to ask for an ethical free pass just cause you found love in the porta-John at the Eden Jamboree and squatted out a rat-faced clone of yourself? Not happening. Be an empathetic person (as you want people to be to you) and drive reservedly, taking into consideration that other people should do the same. Don’t use your child as a moral meat-shield to hide your shitty character flaws behind.
Also, there was an empty pack of Winstons on the Accord’s rear deck.