Bullies Behind the Wheel

Bullying is a bit of a hot topic lately. Everyone has a theory on how to “fix” it. From federal, to state, to district, there’s a plan to make bullying go away.

I don’t have a plan to fix it, I just have an observation and a suggestion. One you might want to take to heart, if you have kids.

Drivers have a sense of invincibility behind the wheel. You can see this every day by people talking, texting, shaving, putting on makeup while going 70 down the highway. “I’m a good driver, I’m not going to cause an accident” said every person before they caused an accident.

This sense of power and control is also evident when you’re looking at the cars around you. What happens when the guy in the lane beside you puts on his turn signal? Do you politely allow him in? Or do you accelerate because that guy’s not gonna cut me off!

What happens when you’re on cruise control and the guy ahead of you makes you tap on the brakes? When he’s going five over the limit but you want to go ten over? Do you get angry? Do you maybe get right up on his bumper to show him how angry you are? When there’s an opening, do you immediately zoom around so you can go the speed that it is your “right” to drive? Do you maybe even do that illegally on the right?

Even worse, do you get in front of him and then hit your brakes to really show him how big of a fool he is? Teach him a lesson? It doesn’t matter if that guy is bigger and more intimidating outside his car. It’s not like he’s going to follow you to your work and yell at you. You’re free to do whatever you want! There won’t be any repercussions!

And so you do. You impose your will, your pique, your opinions and decisions on all the cars around you.

And that, dear reader, is being a bully. And you do it every day. Even worse, you do it with your kids in the car. You set the standard for behavior for your children, and every single day you show them that bullying is ok. You can intimidate, scare, and put in danger the lives of all the other cars on the road just as long as you get what you want.

And this is just one small part of your life. Just your daily commute. Where else are you acting like this? What other situations do you realize there are no repercussions so you are free to do your will? On social media? At work? With your children?

So before demanding the state or the schools “fix” bullying, why not do what you can do to set a good example? It isn’t going to make you late for work. It isn’t going to make you miss your plane. Those few seconds gained by being a bully do not add up, especially not when you consider the damage and potential damage done.

Do your part.

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