I heard about former NFL player Joe McKnight getting killed in early December.
At the time of this writing it isn’t clear what caused it. McKnight was shot while standing outside of his car by another man who was also outside of his own car. Initial reports suggested road rage, but new knowledge may have surfaced by the time you read this.
I was crossing in the middle a very busy street in Miami a day or two after the McKnight story. A heavy traffic jam had everything at a standstill. Whenever there was any movement, drivers jostled to dominate small slithers of space, battling for inches to get their cars just ahead of the next car.
With this battle and the the time the drivers had apparently been stuck in a holding pattern, I’m sure people were agitated. I’m sure, because of all the beeping horns – you wouldn’t expect there too be much to beep about when no was really moving.
But that beeping brought me back to Joe McKnight, and the many actual road rage killings I’ve heard about.
I’ve never had road rage, but I have honked horns aggressively at other drivers, given one-finger salutes, and at times been generally rude behind the wheel for no useful reason.
I’ve decided to end those practices.
Not because I’m afraid of anyone. It’s because it only takes ten seconds of bad judgement – by me or the other party – for a life to be lost or forever altered.
No matter how tough or right or justified you are, you never know who you’re dealing with in the streets. You don’t know how knows what, who knows who and what seemingly harmless people are capable of.
More importantly, you have nothing to gain from winning most a traffic dispute.
This mentality crosses over into other areas. Useless arguments, stubborn pride, battles that don’t advance your position.
Save your energy for fights that matter.