I think it is one of the even-out mechanisms of nature. When one entity attempts to overshadow the other out of turn, nature holds up the progress of that entity, till others catch up.
A classic example is a traffic jam. Your lane seems to move at turtle pace. You see the lane 3rd from yours moving comparatively faster. You inch yourself ahead of the car in the next lane, obviously getting irritated glares from the already frustrated drivers, and of course a lot of honking. Yet, you don’t give up. You brave, you! Somehow you manage to get into the lane next to yours. Ah! One more lane and you should be moving on with life, so to speak.
You do a repeat telecast of your ill-mannered lane changing tactics and finally, land in the place you want to be. Now, you’ll move. Apparently the driver in front of you, in this new lane, is not enlightened enough. This lane is supposed to move faster than the lane you came from! Why in the world is he not stepping on the gas?
The car beside you, in the lane you just came from, moves ahead. You turn to see that in your original lane, the driver behind you not only took your place (obviously), he’s now three cars ahead of you.
By moving out of the first lane, you shifted a lot of cars this way and that. Some equations were changed between the lanes and now, surprise! The lane you came from is speeding ahead than the one you’re now stuck in! By some unkind freak of nature, I have now become the cause of unmoving lanes – any lane I am in, does not move.
‘Fuming in frustration’ is a very apt term for this scenario.
While looking for a personal selfish gain, you unwittingly made life better for a few people. The disturbed drivers may have cursed and honked initially, but then they found that a new space was made and progress took place, but the instigator of progress – the troublemaker who started with a wrong motive – was left behind while others moved on.
Ah! Sometimes it works with different radio channels when you’re changing from station to the other and keep catching the songs you’d love to hear only by their last lines!
Should we be more lane loyal? Or Channel retentive!?
But about those wonderful days when you move to different lane and it actually helps you. Or the one ahead of you moves into a different lane and you end up being the one who shoots three cars ahead worth of the space. Or you just change the channel and they’re just playing the song you love.
I have often found an interesting Dominoes effect. If I start off in frustration, I tend to make the wrong choice. Instead of waiting for a couple of more minutes, if I change the lane, I still lose precious time, and consequently energy.
If it works like on the left, logically, it should also work on the right.
Just for an experiment – I decided to sit back. I felt, I’d move when the traffic moves. Every lane moves at its own pace. Just me moving to another lane, does not speed up or slow down any lane. The Radio channels have nothing against me. They are not in business to tick me off by playing my songs when I’m not listening to them.
I’m going to sit back and enjoy my day – even in traffic jams!
I made a fantastic discovery!
I was often complaining about not having time for myself. Wow! I had time and I didn’t know it. Now, I downloaded songs that I love and podcasts of people I love listening to (Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen) and yup! Traffic Jams were suddenly an awesome place for spending time with me-sweet-self. I would talk to myself – about my day, my family, my work, my team, my hobbies, my shopping list, my plan for the weekend (yes, I finally started to have an actual plan for the weekend rather finding myself in a weekend with things like laundry, arranging wardrobe, cleaning shoes on my list), et al!
Even more amazing thing: this time became a time to filter my mind off the ‘office’ material and prepare me for a hearty evening at home with family and friends!
This was 3 years back! I think I had the Grace to choose the right lane; only I wasn’t putting the Grace to use. These days more often, I am in the right lane; Why? – I have learnt, whatever lane it is, I am going to be in the right lane – and even if I have to change the lane on the road, I will still remain in the right lane.
While I do not find a jam every day, there is one at least 4 times a week – even if a mini one! Not all times am I able to keep me in a happy mood. There are times when I crash-land into old patterns. But hey, who says we can’t bounce back!