Opinion

Hand them a thank you

By James Bennett

The world is full of problems and travesties but we spend way too much time worrying about the wrong things.

The most pressing issue that faces our society is people who don’t say thank you when you give way to them.

I don’t care how old you are, your race, gender, sexual preference or how much you’ve donated to charity — there’s a special place in hell for people who don’t raise their hand or even a finger in acknowledgement when you give way to them in a narrow street.

They’re the worst people on planet Earth.

If I’m the person that gave way and the other person gives me just the one index finger ‘thank you’, I literally wind down my window and give a brass band ticker-tape parade ‘thank you’ back.

It's similar to a double thank you.

This doesn't apply at a `give way’ sign because that's part of the road rules. This applies during that grey section of ‘who got there first’ situations.

It doesn’t just stop at one car, either. If there’s a line of cars, I drive past with my right hand placed on top of the steering wheel making sure everyone gets a thank you.

Even when it's dark I still give a flash of the lights (which is acceptable during the day) or sometimes just put my hand up hoping the other driver has owl-like eyesight.

I love it when someone gives way to me. Even before I raise my hand I typically say ‘what a lovely person'.

I don't know their background; they could have bad morals, or be ethically wrong in their life choices — but if they give way to me, they get a ‘thank you'.

What this comes down to is basic manners. If you don't thank someone for giving way, then what are you like behind closed doors?

How selfish do you have to be that you can't raise your hand, mouth the words ‘thank you’ or flash your lights?

At least go to the effort, even if the intended recipient doesn't see the gesture.

And, while I'm on my high horse of traffic righteousness: people need to be aware of their surroundings when they're driving.

It's one of the first details that's hammered into you when you are learning to drive — but still people are too involved with themselves.

So that's why the second-worst group of people on the planet are those who have apparently arrived near their destination and slow down without indicating because they're trying to ensure they're in the right place.

You know the drivers. It's usually along a main street and the person starts to slow down to under 40 km/h and starts veering to the left of the street, closer to the kerb. They finally flick the indicator when they might need to turn down the impending side street.

I guarantee you're behind them, saying, ‘what are you doing *****, are you turning or what? Oh, so now you make your decision? Indicate, you ******!'.

If you haven't worked it out by now, I tend to swear and get angry when I'm driving. I won't admit I have road rage, but I think society would beg to differ.

When I become president of the humans, anyone who doesn't say ‘thank you’ if a kind person has given way to them on the road will be sent to prison for 50 years. You've been warned!

You might think this is a little dramatic — but this is a starting point to improving the big problems of our privileged First World way of life.