This man wanted a fight, I did not want one…
DR. ALWIN SPENCE.
A few weeks ago I was driving on St. Charles Rd. in Vaudreuil. I was in the middle lane, and there was a line of cars in the middle and right lanes going south. The driver immediately in front of me, suddenly moved into the left lane preparing to turn at the next stoplight. As quickly as he moved in the left lane he came back into the middle one right in front of me. I had to slam on my brake, then slightly swerve to the right to prevent his car hitting mine.
I quickly got back totally into the middle lane and continued. As we came to the stoplight the car in the right lane pulled up beside me and motioned for me to turn down my window. I did , and was greeted with a volume of expletives, beginning with ‘ you f——g ass -h—— and ending with f—you f—you f—you.
When I partially moved over in the right lane he must have had to slow down to avoid hitting my car, but we were not close to an accident. Well for the few seconds he was right beside me I have never heard so much abuse directed toward me. He was irate, he was loud, agitated, mad as hell.
I kept looking at him but never said a word. That must have angered him even more. I was not afraid, more shocked, that whatever I may have caused did not warrant such abuse.
So I quickly took charge of me and the situation. I must do nothing to encourage an escalation. Even my facial expression was so neutral, it did not show anger, disgust, or even disdain.
The light changed, I rolled up the window and drove off hoping we would never meet again. I related the incident to a few people and all said I did the right thing not to have responded. So what is in this for me?
First of all , even a good cussing does not upset me enough to cause me to be aggressive. Strange enough, as I sat listening to this enraged man I found myself repeating Michelle Obama’s words, “when they go low, you go high”. Thanks Michelle…
One cannot allow himself/herself to be put on a string and be manipulated by someone else. You are in charge of you, you are in charge of your behavior, and no one should pull your string and get you to do what they want.
This man wanted a fight , I did not want one. The reaction to the incident was abnormal. Maybe it was not the cause of such an outburst. The near accident might be the tip of the iceberg.
One does not know if he was cussing me because I almost involve him in an accident, or THAT THE CUSSING WAS DIRECTED TOWARD MY BLACKNESS, or he had just lost his job, or he was in a fight with his spouse or children, or it could have been the pressure brought about by COVID-19.
Being pent-up in your house for days may lead to such behavior. There still may be other reasons. While I came out of this confrontation safe, sound and sober, there may be others who would not accept this abuse without responding, and you can imagine where this could go.
Sometimes when there is strong talk, this secretly is backed up by some form of weapon. One feels especially strong when he/she is carrying a weapon. Brings me to the situation where the trigger pulls the finger rather than the finger pulling the trigger, an argument for the use and misuse of weapons.
Usually if there are no weapons heated situations will deescalate, while the presence of a weapon will encourage its use; the trigger pulls the finger. So do I bring all of this to my Social Psychology class on Aggression?
One can always rationalize situations such as this by remembering what they say in Trinidad ‘’the drum makes a great fuss because it is empty’’…. Or ‘’it takes two to tango.’’
And the Bible says A SILENT TONGUE TURNS AWAY WRATH, and in the Book of James, he said we must be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger. So as we approach the holiday season, as we go through the agony of COVID 19, let us respect one another, because to know me is to walk in my shoes.
So to Bro. Egbert and family, to the Contact family and to everyone, have a wonderful and blessed holiday and hope with the vaccine on the horizon 2021 will be a special and better year. Stay safe and walking.