Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Exploring mentalities and mindsets

I find it fascinating to explore what motivates people to behave the way they do. The more I understand about what motivates people, the more likely I am to create engaging resources.

Yesterday, as I drove along the winding country road to fetch my son from work, no fewer than four times did I come around a bend to be faced by a car taking the bend hell for leather from the other side, encroaching onto my side of the road. In one instance car was plumb in the centre of the road (which a friend of mine refers to as 'taking your half out of the middle'). On that occasion, we narrowly avoided a collision, because there was nowhere for me to go: an embankment came all the way up to the edge of the tarmac on my side. On the other three occasions, I had to mount the grass verge to avoid a partial head-on.

I know that I am a particularly defensive driver. These other folks, I would hazard to say, are plainly not. Why not? Why do I drive differently from them? Have two near-fatal collisions in my life have given me a glimpse of my own mortality and fragility? Is it because I'm a Mom and have become accustomed to protective parent mode? Do I care more about my car than they do theirs? Am I over-cautious? Are they thoughtless? Do they have that same sense of 'it won't happen to me' that sees people having unprotected sex or experimenting with addictive drugs? Do they rely on the other person giving way (a kind of 'chicken')? Are they playing the odds that no-one will come from the other side in the few seconds it takes them to get through the bend?

If you're someone who drives like my four close encounters yesterday, I'm really curious to know. What goes through your mind as you cross over the white line on that bend?

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