Posted by: damon4pianos | March 14, 2015

Road Rage vs. Adagio

I read somewhere that “road rage is part of human nature”.   If that’s true, that means human nature begets rage and violence – you think?  Au contraire – violence begets violence!  Webster defines road rage as:  a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior!”   AAA Motorist Org. reports aggressive driving contributes to over 50% of all traffic fatalities.  Watching 20/20’s “Losing It”, the other night, showed how automobile drivers, losing their patience and reacting with uncontrollable violence toward other drivers that abuse road etiquette, seems to be OK.  In front of their spouses, in front of their children, justifying their vengeance by flipping someone off, cursing, and even resorting to physical violence, what does it prove?

Academia teaches that there are two sides to one’s ego.  One side that governs thoughts and action rationally, the other, irrationally otherwise referred to, as the “alter ego”.  Its root meaning (alter ego) comes from the Latin defined as the “second self” or the “second I” and/or “counterpart” i.e. the opposite side of one’s personality or good character!  The true self can be forgiving and has possibilities to be creative with good intentions and respond to impossible situations with integrity and self-control.  Allowing the counterpart to rule your actions has a dark side and carries consequences that can be hurtful to you and others you love.

In music, the command “Adagio” is an Italian expression for how a classical passage or entire section is to be performed.  It literally means “at ease”, to be played “slowly and gracefully”, not rushed nor harshly, but applied with patience!  Learning to play the piano and/or any musical instrument for that matter, instills patience while overcoming the hurdles of responding with precision the commands of a written piece.  Music has power to stir up emotions within us, as well as, condition us both mentally and physically to respond to a set stimuli based on rhythmic pulsations, dynamics of sound, soothing melodies, and lyrics that convey a message.  An “adagio” musical performance expresses beautiful and peaceful atmospheric pictures as we listen.  One of my favorites is the Adagio from “Songs From A Secret Garden”!

When driving a vehicle can we exemplify an adagio atmosphere of calmness and patience?  Being calm and patiently overcoming the shortcomings and ludicrous maneuvers of others on the road even when we are wronged, might save un-needed trauma and drama.  Isn’t this what we were taught by our parents, i.e., “don’t stoop down to their level because it makes you no better!”  Can we be “slow to anger”, “show grace” and “be patient” when provoked.  It doesn’t mean we are weak, but conversely, strong in self-control!  This can be a mighty testimony and example to our spouses, children, and others.  Showing a hand gesture of “thanks” when someone allows us to have right of way is what we want our children to witness.  It also can also be contagious for our fellow commuters to embrace.  Imagine – spreading professional courtesy and kindness on the highways and byways.  We, as drivers on the road, have the power in making that choice to conduct this “adagio” portion of our very own symphony, a masterpiece that others need to hear!


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