This morning Im driving down the freeway in my “Big Red” Dodge truck pulling an older red and silver, two-horse, straight load trailer back to its owner (who I am so thankful let me barrow it to move my daughter’s horse yesterday). So there I am driving down I-5. Its not rush hour or anything but there is a considerable amount of cars, trucks, semi-trucks, motorcycles, and so on, on the road. The Speed Limit is 60 so naturally most are going 65. I wasnt driving particularly slow (about 62/63 on cruise), but I wasnt quite with the speed of traffic either. I had however gotten over to the “fast lane” of this 5 lane portion of the freeway to get around another vehicle and there wasnt anyone else in my lane so I just stayed there for a while. Then in my right hand mirror I see a little blue 90’s car driving up and closing in on us from a couple lanes over. Clearly they were aiming for my lane, so I put on my blinker to get over one to leave that lane free. Turns out my timing was bad and he was almost next to the trailer when I looked again. He saw me and was possibly trying to decide if I was going to step on it and speed up to get over in front of him or if I was cruising along like he seemed to be. After a sorta awkward moment he slipped back just enough for me to get over. I did and then he put on his blinker and switched into the lane I was in. Then he slowly and completely non-aggressively started to pass me. I think he was on his cruise control too, but just going slightly faster than me. Then as he pulled up next to me he looked over. He must have been in his 50’s (ish Im a bad judge of age) but he smiled at me the sweetest, softest smile to which I smiled back. And in that moment I was grateful for him; grateful that instead of being full of the oh so common road rage we see these days he showed a sense of respect in a moment were he could have easily been flustered or upset.
Its a seemingly meaningless moment he may have thought nothing about again the rest of the day, but it stuck with me. How simple was it to refrain from yelling through the windows as if I could hear the profanity, or to flip me some crud hand signals I would clearly understand, but instead he chose to smile sweetly and pass me with ease.