I’m typically a very calm person who doesn’t resort to anger that often. But one of the things that makes me irrationally angry is when I’m stopped at a traffic light and you see the guy with the windscreen wiper come to clean (scratch) your windscreen in an attempt to guilt you into giving him some loose change. It’s the only time that I show any form of ‘road rage’.
However I’ve changed the way that I think in those moments, thanks to an articulation by Vusi Thembekwayo - someone I deeply respect. In a video he made a while ago, he said this:
“The next time you are pulling up to that traffic light and that guy comes up to you with the squeegee to try and wash your window - before you switch on your windscreen wipers, before you lower your window and cuss him out - ask yourself the question: Is this the place this person dreamt of being when they were grown up? Because if it isn’t, this person is there as a function (partially, not completely) of circumstance. That being the case, maybe you should be a bit more nuanced in your approach. Maybe you should ask them the question: Who are you? Where do you come from? Because you will recognise in that moment that that person is a human being with hopes, dreams, ambitions and things they want to do. That they themselves, just like you, want to live in a country that gives them the promise/opportunity to develop for themselves, rather than beg for you and I to help them. We have to deal with this issue of social inclusion, but we do not do it by criminalising people who take initiative.”
Food for thought, indeed.