It’s getting dark, mist is drawing in, you’re tired and you’ve still an hour to drive before you reach home. You’re listening to the radio, the financial outlook looks grim. All of a sudden your eye is drawn to a pair of rear lights, way off in the distance to your right. As they get closer, there appears to be another set of lights but this time one of them is white. It’s then you notice a grey shadow in the middle of the road, not certain what it can be, perhaps a trick of the light? You realize that the tail lights are not moving and the shadow is getting rapidly bigger. There’s a woman standing in the middle of the road. She’s looking straight at you. Strange, it’s the middle of winter and she’s not wearing a coat. You’re breaking as hard as you can but collision is imminent.
There’s a gap to the left but your eyes are fixed on the woman as she stares back at you, her face is calm and questioning. At the very last minute she jumps out of the way and you crash into the shadow which turns out to be the side of a large black Mercedes.
It is a strange fact that in situations like these most drivers crash into objects because they become transfixed on them. Instead of looking for gaps we become fixed upon what is in front of us. The lady in the road has just stepped out of the Mercedes, she is dazed and your headlights are blinding her, she thinks you’re going to stop, she cannot judge your speed.
Far less dramatically, we sometimes let ourselves become blocked by people or circumstance. A boss that stands in our way, is all we focus on. An annoying colleague that makes our life miserable draws all our attention and energy in the wrong direction. In these circumstances we often miss the large gaps to our left or right. The object that is apparently blocking us simply becomes larger and larger, apparently unsurmountable. But it and they are not, they are often just vulnerable people like anyone else.
If you know someone who is blocked in or heading for a collision, don’t sympathize too much, you don’t need to remind them how terrible their situation is. Just try and encourage them to look wider, to see the bigger picture, to find the gaps to their left or right where they can safely continue on their journey.
Have a good week,