A couple of weeks ago I found myself stuck behind an articulated lorry that had stopped directly after a roundabout blocking the road, the road ahead was closed, but there was a clearly signposted diversion turning left. The driver was out the cab stood speaking to a car driver on the opposite side of the road. It was 8am, the roads were full of people trying to get to work on time, but I waited. After a couple of minutes the queue behind me was backed onto the roundabout and likely to a) be dangerous and b) cause serious traffic problems. So I honked the horn. This was met with what I assume, from the facial expressions and hand gestures, was anger and not particularly polite sentiments.
Clearly this guy was having a much worse day than I was, but all he needed to do was go about 50 feet and stop in a more sensible spot, I certainly didn’t feel his response was warranted: I wrote down the company name and licence plate of the lorry. As I arrived in work I decided that my current level of outrage would probably mellow and that e-mailing his employer to complain could wait until I finished work and got home that evening.
As I got out of the car that evening I looked at the note that I’d stuck by the glove compartment with the details on it… and decided to leave it there. I looked at it again the next morning… I left it there… A few days later I realised it was still there, but I wasn’t annoyed any more, I chucked the scrap of paper in the bin and let it go.
Whatever I have or haven’t achieved this year I’ve definitely become a more forgiving person. Like everyone I can be short-tempered, but I’m not a sulker; I like to let it go and move on. Since I started thinking about making the world a better place I’ve realised that when other people piss you off there’s a good chance they’re having a hideous day or under a lot of stress, so if you can let it go that’ll probably improve their day and it’ll almost definitely improve yours.