Commuting as a Competitive Sport

One of the things that I usually bring up in the non-violent conflict resolution section of my CHL course is that there are a lot of people who consider commuting to be some sort of competitive sport. They just have to go a little faster and “get there” before anyone else.

I prefer a different variation of that game. To me, winning means getting where I’m going without breaking any glass or rearranging any sheet metal. As usual, I won this morning. I got to work without breaking any glass or rearranging any sheet metal. One of the nice things about that particular game is that nobody else has to lose in order for me to win. And as Scott Degraffenreid (This is not a paid referral link, and I don’t get a commission if you click on it, or even if you buy one of his books.) would put it, “Everybody deserves a winnable game worth playing.”

Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out quite that way this morning, even though I personally won, by my criteria. I left the house a few minutes early so that I would have time to get gasoline. After I filled up, I got back on the road just to see that there had been a major traffic collision on the route to work several blocks down the road. If I had not stopped for gas, I might have been in that collision. The police were letting just one lane through — up until about the time I got up there, when they closed down that lane, and I was trapped there for about 25 minutes.

The figure loaded onto the ambulance was completely covered. When the ambulance left, it was not running the flashing lights, nor the siren.

This morning, somebody lost the game.

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One Response to Commuting as a Competitive Sport

  1. gharkness says:

    The point of competitive commuting is not to get to work before the other guy (after all, who’s in a hurry to get to work these days?) The point of competitive commuting is to NOT let the other guy get ahead of you!

    The interesting thing is that these people who will fight tooth and nail to not allow someone ahead of them on the road….are the same people who will smile and let others in when entering or exiting a big room or a theater. The difference is that there is eye contact and the ability to identify one’s “competitor.”

    The human animal is exceedingly strange.

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