You aren’t being a dick, and you are forgiving.
There was a man; suited, white, tall, handsome. He broke into a jog with a death stare trying to intimidate me as I approached, I was moving at a calm coasting, and slow speed.
Man – “it’s a flashing red light!”
Me – “oh cool, thanks”
Man – “Get out of the way!”
I was in no ones way, doing nothing out of the ordinary.
I thought to myself this is such a good example of an unhappy person. Escalating a normal scene into something where he was able to vent his spitting, pulsing anger.
I wondered whether it was something that had happened to him today, maybe he was out on a walk from a shit situation in the office, or maybe he has ignored signs of his growing displeasure in his life.
Admittedly I feel better equipped to handle those silly situations because of what I have learnt at BikeWise, learning that no situation is made better with the retaliation of anger, that the best way to respond is with a smile, or a ‘no worries’ because that will let you be on your merry way without carrying the burden of that anger.
I have carried the anger of injustice with me my first few years of couriering, it would manifest into riding harder, trying to get my own anger out by cutting through traffic faster and with more aggression. If someone beeped me, that anger would burst out and I would anger others; rage spreading its fingers into more and more people and moving its way through the city.
I see other couriers stuck in that rage trap and rookies thinking it is cool to be aggressive. Fingers in the air, yelling, riding harder and faster to show their aggression.
I have the power to stop anger spreading, if you smiled or apologised in the face of anger, it is harder for anger to continue its poison – saving other people of it, or changing the fate of innocent bystanders.
But I say these things with a sense of ‘I know better’ because I am in a happy place. I can see the unhappy people in the city; they are the women who slap my arm as I ride in front of her, they are the men with their hands on the horns because I have a heavy load and it is taking me too long to gain some speed.
Sometimes I cut people off, sometimes people cut me off, sometimes I do the wrong thing and sometimes others are in the wrong, the city isn’t perfect, people make mistakes, it’s a beautiful thing. How insanely boring would it be if everyone did as they were told? Be forgiving and generous. I forgive the mistakes others make and hope in turn they forgive me for mine.