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by Ron
We Could Be Wrong
Today’s article is not a sermon or an admonition. It is a reminder to myself that things are not always as they seem and that I need to be more patient and understanding. Maybe you can also relate to the type of thinking that I am trying to avoid. Generalizations and stereotypes are very easy to indulge in. The view from the driver’s seat (motorhome or car) offers a good opportunity to be on guard against this type of behavior. 

RVers on the move are tuned in to noticing out-of-state license plates. It’s easy to lump our fellow travelers into a group from their state. You have all heard the generalizations. That slow driver in front of us is a farmer from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, or any one of a dozen states. How dare he drive the speed limit. He needs to get back on his tractor. A couple from New York goes whizzing past us. We shake our head and say, “What do you expect from those New Yorkers?” But that man in a hurry may be from the most rural part of upstate New York where he has a truck farm.  And he may be hurrying along for a very good reason. When a little red car cuts in front of us, it reinforces our opinion that all those who drive red cars are aggressive. “Red car alert,” we say out loud. That theory was dashed the other day when I saw a sweet little old lady of 80 plus years, driving a red car. 

Last summer while returning from the ice fields south of Jasper, Canada, we were caught in a long line of cars behind a slow moving Airstream trailer being towed by an obviously under powered pick-up. We were both irritated. We weren’t inconvenienced and had plenty of time, but in our pious rationalization, we convinced ourselves that this struggling RVer was giving us all a bad image. After all, he did have opportunities to pull over and let faster traffic pass. A kinder view came to mind as we finally passed him. The driver was definitely stressed and probably was concentrating so hard on making the next hill that he was unaware of the back-up behind him. Of course he had erred in judgement or was ill advised concerning the capabilities of his equipment  If we got to know him we would probably find out that he is really a nice guy who has grandchildren that adore him—he’s just not good at selecting towing vehicles. 

I have said before that RVers are naturally friendly, but we might get a little irritated at the person who pushes to the head of the potluck food line. I like to think that he or she may have missed lunch and is hungrier than I am. Although by casual observation, I don’t think our potluck enthusiasts have missed many meals. On the other hand, they may have come from a large family where the timid one ended up with a small portion. 

I have a goal to be more understanding and slow to generalize.  It’s about time that I realize that I am retired and have lots of time. Thanks for letting me share my goal with you. Wave as you go by. 
 

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