I have been rereading “Leadership and Self-Deception” by The Arbinger Institute this week, my third time through it. It’s a quick read (I recommend it) that continues to grow on you once you finish it. That’s the sign of a good book, a book that teaches and shapes.
In the book, the authors discuss how we don’t think others’ values, interests, or purposes are as noble as our own. We don’t see them as people, but rather as objects. We then treat them in ways that are for our own gain, to get them to like/respect us, or to keep things “efficient” (and a shout out to all of you fellow INTJ’s out there).
They go on to say that driving is one of the chief ways you can check yourself. Do we respect other drivers as our equals? Or, do we rather see them as our adversaries and obstacles? How many times do you call the other drivers a name, repeatable or otherwise? There seem to be more turkeys on the road than just at Thanksgiving.
I once heard of a well-respected speaker who often spoke in churches. He purposefully liked to be picked up by the leader or pastor and watch him/her drive. The way they drove and the way they treated other drivers told him a lot about their character. Well, that was his philosophy anyway.
So, my 16 year old is driving now and the roads here are very snowy. Very icy. So, I WANT her to go slow and be careful. Yet, I want to drive swiftly and get frustrated when others are driving slowly. I don’t think of the others as people, I don’t consider that it may be someone’s 16 year old in the car.
Monday, I posted about the temptation for us to be disappointed in others, to wish that they were better. We can find ourselves thinking, “They’re not ___ enough” or “If they could ____, then things would be better.” Usually we reserve these for our most-loved, our family members.
Pay attention to your driving over the next 48 hours. If a traveling supervisor were to gauge your character off of your driving, what would he/she conclude? What does your driving reveal about how you view other people’s journeys? Do we value their experience, their philosophy of driving?
And, hey…. let’s be careful out there.