Road Rage Rant

She came out of nowhere. A streak of red just entered my peripheral vision. The truck she drove was hurtling down the highway and pushing me out of my lane. I slammed on the brakes to avoid the impending collision. They say the frontal cortex goes dark when you are angry.

This woman, so unconcerned with the safety of others or herself, so inconsiderate that she cannot even bother to use her blinker as she cuts me off. I found myself so angry by what I feel like she did to me. How she disrespected me, how she put me and my daughter in harms way, my mind raced and the anger grew and the brain darkened. The next thing I know I was screaming through the windshield as if she could hear me. I cursed her name and shook my fist in her direction.

I was enraged, my heart was pounding, my palms were sweating, I could feel my skin getting hot so I know my face was bright red. In my fit of anger I broke the windshield. It was already cracked and needed to be replaced, but the thing is it was the windshield splintering into that crazy spiderweb that snapped me out of it. I saw damage from my actions and it was like a flip of a switch, I was coming down from my rage binge. Anger is my worst nemesis, I struggle to control it daily.

Today I bought my daughter a kids meal from KFC, it comes with a Capri Sun to drink. Have you ever tried to put a Capri sun straw in with greasy fingers? Even the little things set me off. I know that’s what napkins are for, or maybe I should put the straw in for her before I start eating. That’s not how anger works though. It’s a knee jerk reaction.

There is nothing rational about anger. While your angry you might be trying to rationalize what you are doing in your head, but if you’re honest with yourself you know that you are wrong. Punching holes in walls, breaking windshields, destroying everything in your path, that’s uncontrolled rage. It isn’t anything to be proud of.

It’s embarrassing and sad. It’s a mental thing. What does it stem from? I don’t know. I was taught from a young age that violence is an answer. Is that bully bothering you? Well kick his ass! Fight back, don’t let anybody push you around. When I finally took that advice the bullying stopped.

I was applauded and rewarded for finally beating up the tormentor. Is this the lesson I was supposed to learn? To fight fire with fire? To retaliate to injustices with violence? These are the lessons that I have learned. My skills at being angry and violent were further honed in the Marine Corps.

All my life, I was pushed towards the side of anger. Now that I am a grown man and on my own in the world this propensity towards anger is frowned upon. So I have to unlearn everything I was taught. Violent rage is not the answer. I am not the Incredible Hulk, or the little skinny kid with pimples, a bad haircut, and thick glasses. I am an adult in contemporary society.

I am a role model for my children, and a person who wishes to contribute positive things to this world. I have to realize that anger is not the answer. I have to practice being calm. I have to practice slowing down my thought process. My blood boils, I need to learn to control that heat. How?



12 thoughts on “Road Rage Rant

  1. pi314chron says:

    Jeremy, there are three easy ways to control anger outbursts. None of them work. (Age 72, still flipping off the morons on the road who are trying to kill me!)



    • Laughing out loud. I am seriously considering giving up driving altogether. We are risking our lives each time we get behind that wheel. I suppose the whole “risking our lives” thing goes for pretty much everything we do these days. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me!


  2. And yet you are capable of the most compassionate and deep feelings about a lot of situations you write and photograph. I don’t know you Jeremy and I would not dare to give you any advice although I can relate with your words in so many ways.

    This is no “small talk”, I believe in the only thing that is real everywhere. For every action there’s an opposite reaction with equal force. That’s the Nature’s law.

    Some things might set you off towards rage but on the other hand some things set you off towards compassion and love. You are both of them combined. 🙂


  3. Not sure if it applys to you, but my anger comes from anything I perceive as taking away my control…for me anger is a byproduct of fear. I think that fear masquerades as many things, whispering in your ear that certain actions are necessary to prove something to someone else. To live without anger would be to live a life without fear. Perhaps you’ll figure out a way to control your anger if you learn to recognize the fear that is triggering it?


  4. I don’t want to be angry too. I don’t think showing anger towards someone (who might deserve it) is my choice move. But sometimes it’s quite hard to control my anger especially when I think someone tries to fool me. Think of me as a dumb person. Anyway, after I expressed my fiery mood to those people, I just felt dumber or more fool. It’s like I was deceived and then defeated by them. That’s why I tell myself not to let anger lead me do those things. It’s not that easy, I know but I think the effective way is that I need to keep track of my thoughts or mood during the anger-prone situation. And I must not let the anger break me. Hopefully.


  5. Unfortunately bad drivers are found world wide.
    Personally I’d love to see more Traffic Coppers (Police) and court sentences that make road users understand that a driving licence is a privilege, not a right.


  6. Wow! This was such an honest, self-effacing post! I applaud your efforts to undo what your childhood and background engrained. There is nothing tougher than breaking those old knee-jerk reactions. I think anger control is a very personal journey, different for each individual. The older I get, the fewer things push by buttons, but there are always a few…like cigarette butt flippers…OMG…do I go black? YES! But after my initial hissy fit, I’m able to remind myself that my anger is doing more harm to me than it is doing good to solve the problem.

    Ultimately, I’ve gotta agree with Ron!


  7. Thanks for being willing to be so ‘real’ and sharing your experience. Many of us have learned through our childhood molding, what we don’t want to repeat in the lives of our children. Keep pressing forward, you will overcome. I love the photo’s, great work.


  8. In a road rage, both the aggressor, and the provoker need orientations to save themselves from an aggressive situation. Both are prone to getting harmed. Road rage is a social evil and is a nuisance in all cities of the world. Zero Tolerance to Road Rage (ZTTRR) aims at fighting against road rage using peaceful means. It adopts the Gandhian principles of non-violence and non-compromise. Read more about ZTTRR here: http://authorranjit.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/on-a-race-against-road-rage/


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