Back when I was learning to drive, every Sunday afternoon the family would bundle into the car and out we would head for some driving practice on the local roads.
As a novice driver, these were vocal and, at times, almost comically inept affairs, and I’m sure we caused drivers near and far no little consternation.
What I remember though, amidst all the drivers’ glares, tooting horns, and agitated manoeuvres, was my Dad repeating one simple phrase as we navigated the increasing pandemonium: “Just drive your own car.”
It was a reminder that, when everything around is chaos, all I needed to do was focus on myself and what I was doing.
The phrase has always stuck with me and, just recently, it popped back into my head in the most ironic of places as I was lost in thought riding back home on the bus.
The thing is, you see, “Drive your own car” is a really sound piece of advice, not just for a driving rookie, but for life in general.
Life, too, is going to present you with its fair share of chaos. Turbulent events that are beyond your control. Impatient people. Angry people. People who flat out just don’t like you.
So what are you going to do? Allow yourself to get flustered, or drive your own car?
Look at it this way: Maybe there’s someone who really doesn’t like you and is doing their utmost to rile you and get under your skin. Just drive your own car.
Or someone trying to draw you into the battleground of office politics and workplace drama. Drive your own car.
Even someone trying to make you take sides in a personal or family dispute that has nothing to do with you. Drive your own car.
Simply put, the last thing we need in our lives is unnecessary agitation from the people and events around us. So the next time you feel yourself getting flustered, just remember: you’re here to drive your own car.
Cambridge graduate. Writer and thinker. Life enthusiast.