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By Abdellatif Sharaa

What is going on with us human beings? Is it the change in climate affecting our moods and attitudes? Are we under the influence of the El Nino effect? I know it has to do with the weather, but I wonder. I am saying this because of what I have been observing on the streets and in shopping malls. Every morning, I witness irrational actions by people of all education levels and social classes.

For instance, at a red light, a man in his 40s was driving a luxurious car at 8:15 am, attempting to bypass everyone, although it was impossible. He incessantly honked his horn to the extent that it sounded like he had a serious medical condition. When another man asked him if everything was alright, he nearly collided with him in a fit of rage.

Another incident involved an Asian driver who rear-ended another vehicle. Initially, he was polite and apologized for the accident. However, when he was asked to go to the police station, he suddenly became extremely angry, speaking in his native language, leaving everyone perplexed. The vehicle behind him, where I was, was blocked, and we couldn’t move until the arrival of a police patrol. Interestingly, when the police arrived, the irate individual transformed into a timid and cooperative person.

The most amusing incident happened to me personally when a minibus driver collided with my stationary vehicle. His very first words to me were, “Will you please pay my fine?” I was quite surprised! And although he had been speaking fluent English with me, when we went to the police station to obtain a repair order, he feigned not understanding anything. These are just a few examples of numerous incidents that occur on the streets every day. Isn’t it a fact that staying calm allows one to think logically, make clear decisions and avoid conflicts?

Back in 2021, Helen Dos Santos shared some effective tips for maintaining peace of mind and avoiding conflicts in our busy lives. She said: “Everyone faces the harsh challenges in life, and to thrive in our ever-changing world, we need to find a sense of calmness and patience. It can be challenging to stay calm at times, but it’s essential to try.” (1) Staying calm allows you to think clearly. (2) It promotes discussions over fights. (3) You become more aware and focused. (4) It gives you time to prepare before speaking. (5) It leaves a positive impression. (6) A smile can defuse negativity and aggressive behavior, so please stay calm.