Focus on Control

The Ordinary and Terrible Story

Alexander Kopylov


A car moved across another car running along one of the city streets. The man who was driving the outpaced car became furious and struck with a violent desire to punish the offender who had boldly created an obstacle for him.

He caught up with the car which had moved across his own car and forced it to stop by slamming on the brakes in front of the offender’s car. Two girls were there in that car. They behaved as if nothing special had happened and they were not to blame for anything, which fact infuriated the offended man even more. They began to speak rudely and aggressively making accusations and insults. The woman-driver stepped out of her car. The man got more and more angry, he was simply indignant about the fact that the woman argued and wouldn’t recognize that she was guilty. Then he lost his temper, took her by the shoulders and pushed. At that time a truck was passing by (they were quarreling right on the highway). The woman fell and died under the wheels of the truck.

The man set down into his car and drove away. Next day he came to the police himself. He was sentenced by court. The result was the death of one person and a prison for another one. It is a real-life story. It is terrifying because it can easily repeat on our motor roads anytime. It is ordinary and terrible. Probably later on the man regretted for the things he had done. He wished he could turn the time back and behave another way.

The case described herein is, however, an example of extreme and extraordinary manifestation of uncontrolled emotions with a tragic end. But can we often assess the consequences of our emotions in everyday life, at work and at home? Commonly these emotions are not so expressly manifested. It may be, for example, simply our intention to have our own way. Or the inability to continue conversation, find the relevant reasons and convince the interlocutor. Then we want to stop the talk immediately cutting it short, and the reasons of power, experience and position are used thereafter. Or it often takes the form of a primitive neglect, ill-placed irony which is almost a humiliation at the interlocutor. Have you come across it? Have you experienced such a situation on either side? The consequences of such events are not so tragic as described above but they don’t become less important due to this fact. They will merely manifest themselves in another way, respond later, so that we can even remain unaware that it is an echo of that very unpleasant talk.

Control yourself! Think if the event which has occurred or might occur is worth such emotional stress or even more extraordinary actions to be made by you.

P.S.1. Some readers in their responses to this article noted that this story is too ordinary, it is no wonder for them at all. I agree with them. I’d like to specify that I didn’t want to make them wonder but to draw their attention once again to the following fact. The situation I described in the story seems to be too obvious. But if you read newspapers, watch news programs you will see that the number of similar events does not reduce. Additional reminder of control is not unnecessary.

P.S.2. While I wrote this text I read about one more event. A young man killed another man with a knife on Gorkovskoe Highway in the Moscow suburbs. They quarreled about how to drive. The young man left the other bleeding driver alone. But later on he realized what he had done and surrendered at the nearest traffic police checkpoint.