Our family recently had a wonderful opportunity to travel around England. During that memorable vacation, we rented a car to see the beautiful villages that compose the Cotswalds region. The opportunity to “drive left” provided a lesson on taking a different perspective.
In the physical sense, learning to adapt to the other side of the road (and car) ensured our safe journey.
The whole experience prompted me to reflect on the importance of understanding issues from an opposing point of view.
We were pretty anxious at the beginning of the journey. We stayed on high alert, drove slowly and watched for any hazard that could impede our safe passage.
We found comfort driving on the motorways. Most of what we understood from home was easily adapted to driving on these multi-lane roadways. While passing on the right is encouraged, we quickly learned to cruise at the speed limit and arrive at our destination.
Conquering the roundabouts tested us a further. With a bit of experience from home, reversing directions was only the first thing to adjust to. The local drivers were far more adept using the on and off ramps. Holding our collective breathe, we entered and safely exited each hesitantly.
The greatest challenge was found on the country roads that claimed to be “dual passageways”. Some sections were easily shared by a car headed in each direction; however, others required one of the two cars to “give way”. Being new to this type of driving, we were more than happy to give way whenever needed. In many cases, experienced drivers cruised on by without taking notice of us. Others seemed to sense our trepidation and may room for us to gratefully pass.
These experiences provided a great lesson in seeing things whole. They underscored the need to:
• Stay open to another approach especially when that approach makes one uncomfortable.
• Engage despite the fact that those holding an opposing point of view may be more skilled and experience.
• Take turns. Speeding into oncoming traffic will ensure a collision. While some will take advantage of the fact that we yield the right of way, others will appreciate the gesture and respond in kind.
Driving left will continue to serve as my reminder to seek to understand first!
With you on the journey!