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There’s a lot of angry people out there on the roads.

I’ll used to be one of them. I’m not proud of this, but I’m pretty sure I’m one of the reasons they put those signs up on East 12th Street: “Warning: aggressive driver area.”

I was prone to cussing out people who took too long to notice the light had turned, I would tailgate anyone who pulled out in front of me to prove my point that they shouldn’t have, and I regularly flipped people off.

I know what you’re thinking: But she seems so nice and happy and Zen-like.

I am now, but I wasn’t about 8 years ago when I witnessed something that forever changed the way I drive.

We were following two guys in pickup trucks who were obviously quite angry at each other. We were watching road rage happen as the guy directly in front of us was tailgating and swerving and shaking his fist at the guy in front of him. The guy in front of him was yelling right back and tapping his brakes to try and get road rage guy #2 to back off.

We all came to a red light. Road rage guy #2 got out of his truck. He walked up to road rage guy #1’s car and started screaming at him, then he punched the windshield so hard that it shattered.

I can’t remember what happened after that, I guess they went straight and we turned, but I never forgot that incident. Ever. It’s vivid in my mind even now.

It was stupid. Someone could have gotten seriously hurt (and I’m willing to bet Road Rage Guy #2 had some nasty cuts on his fist) because they couldn’t keep their tempers in check. What if one of them had been carrying a gun?

It was terrifying.

And it could’ve happened to me. You just never know who you are dealing with out there.

Now, when someone cuts me off, I smile & wave and assume they just didn’t see me (and even if they did…who cares?). When someone takes too long to notice the light turned green, I never honk; there’s nowhere I need to be so quickly that I need to be rude. I slow down and wait for people to turn, instead of swerving out around them.

Aggressive drivers can’t stand me now. I annoy them. I get in their way with all my vehicular niceness. And I HOLD THEM UP. Grrrr…

When some road rager is freaking out, all red-faced and yelling at me (happens to all of us). I just smile & wave. Or I blow them kisses. It catches them off guard every time and leaves them with their mouths hanging open, unsure of how to react when they don’t anger me, too

“When you send love in response to hate you accomplish one of the most difficult things for anyone.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer

Responding to anger with love is a much more peaceful way to live (go ahead, try it!) and, if you’re dealing with an irrationally angry person driving a 2,000-pound weapon, a smile & wave or a few air-kisses could save your life.

“Harboring anger and hatred toward anyone guarantees that you remain in low energy fields where problems will continue to crop up repeatedly in your life.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer

Read more about what Dyer has to say about loving your enemies here.