Confessions of a Zen Lawyer: Drive Your Own Car

Confessions of a Zen Lawyer: Drive Your Own Car

1024 682 Richard Russeth

Confessions of a Zen Lawyer: Drive Your Own Car


I can’t tell you how often in my life I have instructed other drivers in the error of their ways from the high and mighty vantage point of my car. From turn signals to stop signs, from speeding to not speeding, others rarely drive how I would wish them to do.

“Traffic would flow so much better,” I’d think, “if people would just drive with the greater good in mind rather than their own selfish interests of just getting some place fast.” Certainly it seemed to me that if the greater good were as I saw it then at least I’d get some place faster. One super-power I really, really wanted was the ability to make all four tires go flat on any transgressor’s car – oh, not right there on the highway, but sometime later when it’s parked and the flat tires would simply be an unbelievably annoying karmic payback for cutting me off.

Suffice to say other drivers rarely heed my unspoken but strongly recommended instructions. This led to endless frustration until one day while sitting in traffic, I realized in a flash of perhaps obvious insight that I can’t change any of those other drivers – most especially when I am behind the wheel of my car. I realized that I can only drive my car. Inner peace ensued. Now whenever anyone cuts me off, zooms by me on an icy Colorado interstate or flips me off, my mantra is “Drive Your Own Car.” I still get a little angry now and again but I find it goes away much quicker and best of all, I don’t have that guy tailgating my thoughts for the rest of my day.

This would seem an obvious insight and yet the incidents of road rage we hear and read about, the frustrations I hear from co-workers after the long drive in, or the general consensus that everyone else is a lousy driver would appear to indicate otherwise.

Not just in the car, I am finding this mantra applies to my entire life – any time I am becoming angry with what someone else says, does or doesn’t do, their opinion or lack thereof or when I feel my pride coming to the fore, I remind myself to “Drive My Own Car.” Because that’s all we can ever really do isn’t it?

So drive your own car – But would it kill you to use your turn signal?

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