I saw a road rage incident yesterday. An angry man driving a black SUV was arguing with a bicyclist whizzing around him. The SUV was bobbing and weaving through traffic on a busy Chicago street. The bicyclist could've easily gotten killed. I watched in horror screaming "NO!" Another car got involved, a little brown sedan. The man in the sedan was now driving side by side with the SUV. They were shouting at each other as they waived their free arm out the window. All during rush hour traffic as the constant commuting for the long Memorial Holiday weekend was about to begin. I didn't have my phone. As the crowd gathered around, I asked 'can anyone call 911?' A woman with her family, her mother and a child in a wheelchair, shouted "don't get involved!" I responded? "WHY?!" Sirens started to blare. The SUV dodged and weaved, he got in front of the little brown sedan and slammed on his breaks. The little car couldn't do much damage to his massive vehicle. The sedan crashed into the SUV. The men jumped out of the car and chased each other. As I watched, I thought 'if one of those guys has a gun, today could be my last day." The SUV driver threw his body on the ground and rolled. He accused the other man of having a knife. The other man did not have a knife.
When the police arrived the sedan took off. The SUV driver was waiving his arms with great drama telling the story of how he was victimized. As more officers walked toward him, I said "I saw the whole thing. What he's saying is not true.' An officer stopped to listen telling me I was being recorded. I agreed.
On paper the SUV driver was a victim. He was clearly hit by another car. If the sedan driver would've stayed would he have gotten a ticket?
How can we govern for manipulation? How do we hold people accountable when their story seems plausible? When the facts as they are documented seem to indicate a clear path -- when the path is not so clear? What if the bicyclist was severely injured? Or died? I saw what I saw but could I be wrong? Sure I could. I don't think so but it's possible. Faced with documented facts and a constant barrage of alternative opinions and arguments, could my story be changed? Possibly. How can we influence the SUV driver not to do what he did?
Alicia Dale is a strategic thinking Creative that understands the power of words to influence, change and build new infrastructures. This Blog is to capture ideas that have no where else to go at this very moment. Who knows how they will be developed? Or where they will go? For now they are sparkles of light easily stored where I can search and find them when they call my name again.