Wednesday 14 September 2011

Driving without being in the driver's seat

Please keep in mind that this post is not about the metaphorial driver's seat but the real one. I am quite an aggravating passenger if you are a slightly rash driver. Sitting inside the car (with all the doors locked and the glasses raised), I can bend if I see a truck arriving at a safe distance. In spite of not being at the wheel, I act almost as if I am driving and start panicking. Worse, I start alarming the driver and make grunting noises as if I am instructing her/him to drive carefully.

It always seems easy to not be in control and act as if the controls are at my mercy. This happens even while watching a game on telly. Some people get quite agitated and start saying, "If only I was there, I would have . . ." While I bend and make noises sitting in the seat next to the driver's, I tend to forget that I AM NOT IN THE CONTROLS.

Similarly in life, we enjoy giving directions to people in their lives and advice them how to live and conduct their lives. Though it seems easy to act and shout while being the observer, the real test arrives when one is in the driver's seat.

While the cricket player playing elsewhere cannot hear the moans and groans of the audience sitting thousands of miles away, the driver sitting next to you while driving gets quite bugged when he/she hears the exaggerated sounds from the passenger.

Sometimes it is better to keep the mouth shut. It saves a lot of energy and trouble. I need to remind myself that I should be a cool passenger sitting next to a confident driver.  

So, what kind of a passenger are you?

Image: Internet


  1. Me as a passenger in a real car, totally asleep. Going for a ride most of the time means taking a nap.

    In the Netherlands we have a saying: the best captains stand ashore. Each time I sit on my advice-chair I keep this in mind.

    So what kind of passenger am I Susan?

    By the way. Love your quote in the blue sidebar.

    Have fun today, talk to you later.

  2. If it's a long ride then it's music, watching the landscape finally sleeping peacefully. The rhythm of the train, car give me good sleep.
    In the city i am no different except that i'll be cursing between my teeth ...both the driver and the irresponsible driver.
    The loud and clear ones are like,"Watch out!"..." Are you crazy!"
    Otherwise i am a non disturbing co-passenger.
    BTW maybe one of the weekends you allocate some time for me too. i know i'm not brief like you nevertheless would like to see you once in a while on my blogs.
    Maybe u can scroll through and pick up the smallest one.

  3. I'm a good passenger for the most part, but not my husband - he sounds just like you! :)

    Yes, I think we all have trouble giving up the wheel, giving up control over our lives and realizing that God is at the helm. Life goes a lot smoother, though, when we let Him do the steering!


  4. Can't stop laughing at this, Susan. I ABSOLUTELY hate being a passenger in a car w/CERTAIN people. What's REALLY funny is that I'm NOT someone who needs to be in control of every situation. but when it comes to driving I don't like feeling as if my life is in the hands of someone other then me and the divine.

  5. Great analogy Susan Deborah!:) I actually don't drive at all and so in general am a fairly good passenger. The only thing that bothers me is when a person is unsafe when they drive.

    In real life I identify with what you are saying as well. Control is a big issue even when I know that God knows best. It's very hard to let go. It can also be hard to not offer others well intended "advice" but I do try not to as I have been the recipient many times and haven't much cared for it.:) Although I will gladly listen when I know someone has something real to offer!

    Have a great day! Love to you!

  6. I usually hang on for dear life and keep my mouth shut.

  7. Loving this post, Sus. I'm the kind who likes to keep 'braking' when I see oncoming traffic. It spills over to other areas too. But marriage is a good way of curing one of this. Do you feel the same? Keeping one's mouth shut is a great idea, but ever so hard to practice.

  8. Susan, loved this post. I am a calm passenger most of the time....but, with heavy traffic and no one following traffic rules, it does get on the nerve sometimes.

  9. LOL... I will remind myself not to have you in the passenger seat at all... You are welcome to walk or take a cab!!!!. Here is something you can do blindfold and listen to music in the car...(PLEASE NOT WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING but ONLY IF YOU ARE THE PASSENGER!

  10. smiles. control is an illusion...this translates well across life beyond driving...we think we are helping often by telling others what to do...and often go there before truky appreciating where they are....

  11. I ride my am always the driver. Now, you may not believe this, but I have witnesses!

    Behavior of other drivers does not bother me one iota. I am so focused on staying alive, keeping out of the way. I know there are crazy peeps out there, used to cuss, scream, and 'finger' them.

    When, how, and why that is removed from me I DO NOT KNOW. But, thank God it is the ONE disturbance I do not have--any more!

    Love you blogs which always keep us thinking, Susan Deborah!
    Love and PEACE to you!

  12. I am the driver..LOl..but I also like to butt in everywhere and ´drive´ people to their destinations. Not a good trade and I need to back down from time-to-time. Great post!

  13. Ha-ha! It depends but I can almost always fall asleep on longer trips! Whamo. . .zzzzzz


  15. I'm a great passenger except if my kids or mom is driving...then I pray we don't die... then again ..that's what they sy about me LOLOL...As always....XOXOXOXOXO

  16. I prefer to drive but if I can't I rather close my eyes and play it cool even if I don't like the way the person's driving. You're right it's a waste of unproductive energy.
    Taxi drivers in particular can be scary, when they don't stop when they're supposed to.. so better to close your eyes in those instances to pray, not rest... hhh

  17. I am a passenger who would make intelligent conversations that perk up people and invite them to share their insights....the perfectly friendly, caring passenger.

  18. I'm sort of like you - a back seat driver. I annoy my husband when he drives though he's never even had an accident. I suppost there is a metaphor here regarding our trust, faith and acceptance of not being in control.

    Thanks for your thoughts Susan. Take care and hope you always ride with safe drivers.

  19. lol - i am the naive trusting passenger - i let the driver do his/her bit while i enjoy the sights outside, the music or even catch a power nap ;)

  20. This explains why the coach screams and shouts from the side lines during a football match when I am sure (and everyone is sure) that the concerned player can hardly hear him.
    Or maybe he is going through the motions to make sure that he is still retained as the coach the next year...... may be I can write a blog on this :-)

  21. Elizabeth:

    I also sleep on longer journeys but sometimes I am too afraid to even sleep.

    I like the blue one as well :)


    In spite of the music, I shiver.

    I will sure make time to stop by, dear Shivani. Sorry for not doing so as regularly as I should be.

    Have a great weekend.

  22. Martha:

    Welcome here and glad to read your insights. God is always there to take care, we know this well but in spite of that we make a great hue and cry.

    Blessings and joy back to you in abundance.


    I am sure you would not like driving with me but it also depends on the driver. If the driver is careful, slow and aware, then I'm a lovely passenger. Yes, I am.

  23. Colleen:

    Even I don't drive. I am always driven. Even I gladly listen when someone has something real but when someone drives a bit rashly, I start off.


    Welcome and thanks for stopping by. I can't be quiet :(

  24. Corinne:

    I don't drive so I don't much know the details, i spite of having gone to a driving school and owning a licence. marriage, ah, yes! A great levelling factor. It brings the best and worst in you and at the same time it also teaches balance.


    Welcome here. Any one will be happy to have you as a passenger. Glad.

  25. Savira:

    I get panicky only when the driver is rash, Sav. And women are always careful drivers. I've always enjoyed being a passenger when women drive so you can be well assured that I will be a great passenger when you drive. And please don't refrain from taking me.


    Smiles at the truth :)

  26. Steve:

    Glad to have great readers and commenters as you, dear Steve :)



  27. Pam:

    Even I fall asleep on longer trips albeit the fear.


    We are all in the same boat, then (maybe same car and not boat!!!).

  28. BOngo:

    Me thinks death is the basis of the entire fear part!!! Glad that you mentioned it.


    Taxi drivers, I have no problem. It is only with family that I take advantage.

  29. Swapna:

    Intelligent conversations!!!! I try to make them as well when the driving is smooth, otherwise . . .


    Thanks for sharing your trait with me dear Myrna. Your blessings are well received.
    Have a lovely weekend.

  30. Yuvika:

    "naive?" That one thing I can never be while someone is driving rash.


    I believe that the player does keep an eye on the coach (maybe, it's just an assumption).

  31. Dunno if this is a good thing or not, but I invariably doze off in a moving vehicle. So no, I'm never a backseat driver. I just feel lucky to be a passenger: I don't need to be alert and I have the luxury to be inert. :)

  32. ...LOL...
    Did it never occur to you to push the driver and take the driver’s seat instead? :)

    Never tried to enjoy what is there lying outside the vehicle? :)

    I prefer being in the driver’s seat myself not because I’m afraid. I don’t want to miss the joy of driving :) and when there is no option, I simply ignore everything which is at the front and start enjoying the things which can be viewed from the window :P

  33. Asif:

    Oh! my god! How wonderful it is to be reading your comments again. Great to have you in the loop (Smiles). Ah! I don't drive, Asif!! That's the saddest part. Lucky you, who can ignore everything else.



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