It’s one giant swarm of bees buzzing through the streets. Motorbike traffic in Vietnam.
On the surface, it looks like chaotic madness, and to a degree, it is. For one, there are not many traffic lights in the Vietnam, only the most busy intersections. Second, red lights are more of a suggestion, than a rule to follow.
That said, after a few days (okay…weeks) I started to see a chemistry within this motor-powered chaos. And it made me realize something…
I learned how important it is to yield.
The motorbikes, would would always yield to other vehicles and pedestrians.
It seems as if they don’t rely on the street signs or traffic lights, but more on their intuition on the road and their ability to yield.
During six months of living in Vietnam, I saw only two incidences of road rage where someone was very angry at another driver.
I witnessed only one accident. It was fender bender and the man who got hit showed no anger or frustration at the driver behind him. He picked up the broken piece of his motorbike, and assured the concerned man that he was okay. They didn’t react out of frustration.
Instead, they yielded.
Life can get crazy at times, just like the intense motorbike traffic in Vietnam. But by adopting a yielding mentality we can navigate the rough seas of life a little better.
Yielding and non-reaction seem like weaknesses at first, but I believe they could be our greatest strengths.
By reacting to someone’s road rage, one unconsciously sinks to the angry person’s level. Nothing good can come out of that.
Eckhart Tolle said in his book A New Earth, “What you react to in others, is also in yourself.”
When you engage in an argument with a negative person, or gossip about a negative person, you are unconsciously allowing that person’s negativity become part of you.
When we react to an insult or someone’s slight towards us we add more fuel to the fire. Through unconscious reactions, solutions to the situation and peace of mind is much more difficult to attain.
When I was in sales and customer service, I dealt with a few customers that were frustrated and looking for a refund. Solutions were always met faster and easier after I let the customer complain and vent until exhaustion. I didn’t react or interject to prove the customer wrong or defend myself.
This is not only social dynamics, but it’s also science. Issac Newton confirmed the classic theory: For every action there is a equal and opposite reaction.
If someone bites, and we bite back, we are sure to get another bite back at us. What if we don’t bite back? What if the action doesn’t get an equal reaction in return from us? Then maybe the action (the bite, the negativity, the drama) will dissolve on its own.
The Tao Te Ching says, “The best way to oppose evil is to step aside. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.
Yield, don’t fight. See what happens. Give drama nothing to oppose, and see if drama disappears all by itself.