When stuck in traf­fic… just smile


FOR THE past two years I’ve been start­ing work at the crack of dawn, so I’ve been spared the bar­baric be­hav­iour that some Joburg motorists daily dis­play on our roads.

It has been bliss­ful – no traf­fic in the morn­ing, no traf­fic in the af­ter­noon, no road rage.

Then came Mon­day when I got stuck in 7am traf­fic. Two grown women were at each other’s throats, hurl­ing pro­fan­i­ties and flash­ing zap signs at each other.

Watch­ing the two an­gry women took me back to a day last month when I was stuck in af­ter­noon traf­fic on the M1 South.

Lost in my thoughts and be­com­ing ag­i­tated, from the cor­ner of my eye I no­ticed some­one try­ing to catch my at­ten­tion. In the lane to my right was a white Ger­man SUV. Seated at the back was a cheer­ful young woman who pressed a white pa­per with a smi­ley emoti­con and the word “smile”, against the win­dow of the car. I couldn’t help but laugh. She laughed and waved me good­bye.

Watch­ing the two an­gry women on Mon­day, I won­dered how their morn­ing could have turned out had one of them sim­ply apol­o­gised – or smiled.

Next time you’re stuck in traf­fic, take a deep breath, flash your pearly whites at the ag­gres­sor and wish them a good, joy­ous, pro­duc­tive day. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be de­cent enough to drive away with­out sub­ject­ing other motorists to their drama or even block­ing the al­ready con­gested road.

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