Back seat driver

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Layton Lolo

For any who know how to drive, have you ever had that rare opportunity of having a back seat driver?  A person in the back, whether it be one of your siblings, friends, relatives, or parents, that tells you how to drive and what to do?  To be honest I have had a few times to practice driving the family car and it really annoys me when my brothers or parents tell me how to drive.

I enjoy to drive with silence and peace because that makes me drive safer, better and more accurate or professional.  But once someone throws in a phrase like, “Keep both hands on the wheel!” or “Keep your eyes straight forward and not on the mirrors!” or even “Don’t wave or beep the horn to someone unless your skilled enough to drive without crashing!

Comments like this don’t seem to harmful or bad, but it is very distracting and annoying in the worst ways.  In a way, deep down a back seat driver makes the driver feel as though the person in the back seat doesn’t trust them enough to drive or trust in their abilities to drive.  For me, this is a big thing because I’m 16 and about to turn 17 in a few months and get a driver’s license, so it kind of eats at you a little and makes you doubt yourself.

One day, I thought about how I could relate driving to everyday life and to the people that surround me, and the funny thing I found was that it is one of the most perfect metaphors for life.  There is you, the driver or the centre person of a situation, and then there’s the back seat driver, or the person that is all in your business and the dominate man or woman.  Whenever I thought of that metaphor I have always thought of myself as the driver and the victim of criticism, but I realized that I’m not the only one driving all the time.

I recall moments where I was the back seat driver and I commanded and directed like I was the only one who knew what was best.  If I’ve learned anything from these memories is that no one is perfect in not bossing or helping in a very, very, very annoying way, because that’s just how some people are, or more accurately, that’s how family is.  So from now on, when I find myself in the back seat and letting someone else drive, I will try my very best not to say a word, zip my mouth, and be a back seat SUPPORTER, not a back seat driver.

But I’m not excluding the fact that some back seat drivers are very important.  Getting a second opinion is always a great thing.  Guidance is something everyone at some part in their lives need, even if they don’t see their own need for it.

So, if find yourself in a situation where a metaphorical or literal back seat driver comes into play, learn to be humble and accept the given advice.  For those who are the constant back seat driver, put your trust in the driver whether he or she be literal or metaphorical as well, because most of the time, people just need to drive in peace.

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