Right, wrong, and righteousness

During lockdown the number of people out walking, cycling and running has increased enormously and to such an extent that a lot of footpaths have become quagmires.  As a consequence I am now more inclined to walk on our local network of single lane roads.

When growing up in Scotland I was always aware of the Highway Code instructions that if there is no footpath to walk on the right hand side of the road so that you are facing oncoming traffic – unless you are on a blind bend when you can briefly cross to the left then return to the right once you are back on the straight.

I am not sure why, but a large number of the folks now out running on the roads appear to be unaware of this “rule” and run on the left. I couldn’t do it with the traffic coming unseen behind me! But the other consequence is that they are now running straight at me – and a disconcerting number of them keep running straight at me clearly thinking that I am in the wrong for walking on the right.

Each time it happens I hold my ground. I am 6’3″ and about 15 stone so a pretty immovable object but they still keep running at me until eventually they capitulate and swerve past.

What is interesting is how this affects me. To begin with I was getting bent out of shape about it, indulging in righteous indignation, making sweeping generalisations about runners, and character assassinations of the individuals involved.

But I am getting better at letting this go. I am “right” and I am more than able to keep walking in the face of oncoming bodies, but what I don’t have to do is to add the extra layers of moral indignation.

This is good practice for other areas of my life…

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