Yes, I’m learning how to speed…I never thought I would say this. Isn’t speeding wrong? Well, yes, it is not wise, but there’s more to it just being right or wrong here.
Do you know how it is to be stuck behind that car that is going exactly 55mph on a two-lane high way where you have to wait to be able to pass safely? I used to be one of those slow-poke drivers. Yes, I’ve driven people nuts behind me, but now I’m learning about compromise, flexibility, and going with the flow, and it is influencing my driving.
I’m not sure why it took me so long to learn how to compromise, but now I am. Fear drove me to drive the exact speed limit all the time; the sign said 35mph, so that is what I could do. I tried to follow the rules exactly.
My Mom had tried to explain to me, “It’s sometimes safer to speed and keep up with traffic rather than hold up traffic.” Back then, I wouldn’t have it. That was before I started commuting. Commuting can be sort of relaxing…but it takes so much time.
After going between 7-14 mph for an hour, then when you can choose your speed, you want to go fast! Now I can compromise here a bit.
Compromising in the areas of sexuality or morality wounds humans deeply, but knowing how to compromise with others about driving or cleaning or having friends over will help your relationships. Rules can protect and guide us, but knowing how to bend and flow with people helps them be able to be themselves and feel loved.
What changed? Learning that adults know principles and apply them in different ways to different situations helped. Reading the book, Teaching With Love and Logic, has helped my understanding of living from rules verses living from principles. There are never enough rules to feel safe or control all unknown variables, but there are principles that uphold why many things are done. People thrive more when principles are individually applied to certain situations verses cookie-cutter rules.
Compromising with roommates helped me learn to be flexible. I failed many times: I would rigidly want my way, not be open to options, and push hard. For example, at one place where I lived, we made an agreement we wouldn’t have guys stay over night. That standard made me feel safe, and it just was wise for a house-full of young ladies.
I didn’t want to consider that there were options! Then one day a friend wanted a married guy to be able to crash on our couch for the night. It scared me, so I stood by our rule and didn’t budge. Now I see her perspective way more…he was like a brother to her…I hurt our friendship because of my attitude…my friend did find a place for that guy to stay, but I got my way. With a cost.
I saw the “No guys staying over” as a rule that could only be kept or broken. Looking back, I see that if I followed the principle: “It’s not wise to have single guys stay the night.” I could have seen the difference and been okay with letting my housemate’s friend stay over.
Yes, some things are black and white, right and wrong; but being open to the shades of variation in life will make your life flow more smoothly. Yes, I speed a little at times now, but I’m caring more for the drivers around me instead of making us all frustrated by trying to follow the letter of the law. We’re on earth to love each other. Following a rule is wise, but understanding the principle that is underneath the rule is even wiser.