From his perspective, I came from out of nowhere. He saw an opening and pulled his Jeep out of the center turn lane. That’s when he heard a beep, looking back to see the bright green car.
I turned into the drive lane from the side street. Assuming the Jeep in the turn lane would stay put, I accelerated. That’s when it pulled out, nearly taking the front end off my car.
I beeped; he flipped.
He showed me his middle finger from inside his car. Going the same way, I stopped behind him at the light. Apparently, not sure I’d seen his middle finger, he held it out his window.
I suppose I should have reacted so he knew I’d seen his finger. He pointed at me using the outside mirror and showed me his middle finger again. I didn’t react.
Red-faced, he energetically pointed at me and showed me his middle finger yet again. I didn’t react. He pointed and showed it to me a fifth and sixth time. Finally I understood. He needed some closure. I gave him what I hoped would be a submissive shrug.
That seemed to satisfy him.
Like the driver of the Jeep, we all want to be seen and heard. I could have felt threatened. (A small part of me did.) However, I chose to remain calm, mustering empathy. Like my companion driver, stressors can negatively impact my driving or my relationship with others.
I am thankful for the empathy that helped me perceive what the angry driver needed. In calmness and empathy, I saw the divinity within a sojourning human being.