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Let giving way be good deed of the day

I was dismayed to read about the incidents of road rage ("Why are we so angry on the road?" and "Two men come to blows in busy Orchard Road"; Dec 18).

They made me wonder whether our efforts at fostering kindness and graciousness are in vain.

The question why road rage exists remains to be answered.

In my view, road rage is a function of anger management.

According to psychiatrist Adrian Wang, "people who are vulnerable to road rage may have a lot of tension, stress, and resentment, harboured over time".

But tension, stress and resentment are common emotions. So why do some release them through road rage and others do not?

Perhaps, it is simply the way we manage our anger. What if more of us decide to be less angry with such road users, and be more gracious in giving way?

Suppose we decide that we will do at least one good deed a day, and that good deed may well be just giving way to someone.

We are all aware of the dynamics of action and reaction.

I recently reacted positively and gave way to someone who manoeuvred into my lane. He rolled down his car window and gave me a thumbs up.

I felt good that he appreciated it and was glad I did not deliberately block his way.

There was no road rage there, only positive feelings expressed and received.

It is always a good idea not to escalate matters and to let passing things, well, pass.

Instead of being consumed by anger, we can learn from these negative encounters and be more patient and kind.

Koh Poh Tiong


Singapore Kindness Movement

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 25, 2016, with the headline 'Let giving way be good deed of the day'. Print Edition | Subscribe