More braking, less honking

Slow down, speedsters

There’s nothing more annoying than getting honked at for no good reason. I was picking up groceries this week, waiting to turn left into the parking garage as an elderly woman slowly walked across the entrance. There was also an oncoming car, so I turned on my blinker and waited.

HONK.

Startled, I looked up at my rearview mirror to see an SUV alerting me that they would very much like me to move out of their way.

I figured they just weren’t paying attention and were impatient to get on with their day. Consequently, it brought me some pleasure to ignore their curt request in favor of letting the little old lady live another day and avoiding a car accident, two things I would very much like to happen.

Unfortunately, such silly interactions are pretty common. I hear snippy honks and diamond-hand honks all the time (though thankfully, not always directed at me). Regardless of their intensity, these abuses of honking privileges usually communicate that they’re in a hurry.

Usually, that hurriedness is a lie. It’s an autopilot state of mind that impulsively prioritizes our convenience over others’ and what’s around us. And the antidote is to intentionally slow down.

Look around, take in the view, use the brakes instead of the horn. We’ll see things aren’t as urgent or inconvenient as they seem. We’re allowed to breathe. Then we can actually focus on the things that truly matter.