Steering

14 07 2009

“He is NOT going to pull out into BOTH lanes of traffic,” I hoped out loud as I took my foot off the accelerator.  Yep.  He did.

It was all over before my head could take it in.  I had to rewind the video in my mind to make sense of what had just happened.  Pumping wildly, my heart increased the amount of blood to my brain, which helped me remember.

I had been driving downtown for a meeting and decided to take a more direct route instead of the interstate.  Looking at interesting houses and driving through neighborhoods make the trip more enjoyable.  So I was on a four-lane, 45 mph artery driving in the left lane when a sedan pulled out into the right lane causing the SUV ahead of me in that lane to stop.  I slowed, wondering what might happen next, when the sedan’s headlights pulled into my lane right in front of me.

There was oncoming traffic to my left and no time to hit the brakes or lay on the horn.  As the video in my mind played, I let out a hoot!  Just like in the movies, I had deftly steered my way through the obstacle course, tires squealing, at 40 miles per hour– in what now seemed like slow motion!!

My reaction had been automatic—coming from the part of my brain that doesn’t have to think about what to do; it just took over.  Not waiting for explanation or reason, it saw what I needed to do and made it happen before I could have a conscious thought or make a plan.  My survival instinct must have been steering, because I don’t have any experience dodging cars—except for bumper cars at the fair!  🙂

Thinking about what happened last night has made me a little philosophical this morning.  I’m asking myself some questions:

What are my gut reactions, especially in relationships?

Do I default to self-preservation or the other person’s best interest?

Is there a way to modify my default settings from self-interest to others-interest?

What do you think?  I’d really like to know.

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