Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Frozen in Panic

The other day I was in the parking lot at the bank. I got into my car, put on my seat belt, and then started the car. Before backing out of my parking space, I checked my mirrors. As no cars were approaching, I started to back out. When I was about half way out of my space, the person in the car right behind me started to back out of his space. I assume that he went through all of the same preparatory steps that I had just gone through, well, all except checking his stinking mirrors before shifting into reverse and putting his foot on the gas pedal. I saw this and hit my horn to alert the other driver. The horn had no affect and he kept right on backing out until he drove into my car. No damage was done to either vehicle due to the low vehicular accelerations involved. However, what disappointed me in the end were my own actions, or should I say inactions. I have replayed the scene several times in my mind. I saw this person coming, I had time to remark about what was happening, I had time to lean on the horn for about 3 seconds. Why did I not just put the car into drive and pull back into my parking spot and thus avoid the whole contact? I was certainly left more than a bit disappointed with myself. I think that I was frozen in panic. I surmise that the reason for my disappointment is that I would like to think that I would act cool in a pinch, handle myself under pressure. I sat frozen and scared. Is it possible that I am not who I think I am? Is the calm, in control persona just a mirage? An image of who I would like to think I am and not who I really am inside? What characteristics do you think describe you but in reality may not? Does this affect how you think about yourself?