NOTE: this was originally posted on Jan 15, 2010. But because of some recent events, I needed to remind myself of it. So I am reposting it.
A friend and I were talking the other day. I was discussing how when I get home I am usually upset and tense. It was leading to anger issues when I got home from work. The friend gave me a suggestion. He said that I should drive in the right lane, and go about 5 miles per hour slower than I usually did, and listen to some music that I really like. So I tried it for several weeks, and the impact was noticeable. Instead of fighting traffic, I flowed with traffic. The funny thing was that I arrived home at the same time or even earlier each day, and did not have that aggressive pit in my stomach when I got home.
I was then later telling this same friend about another issue I was having that was causing me some anger issues. (Anger issues have been a recurring theme for me over the last little while.) He gave me some good advice, he told me to use the “Right Lane Philosophy” on that problem as well. He told me to just hang out in the right lane for a few weeks and see what happens. I have started to internalize the “Right Lane Philosophy” in my life. It is a hard process, and I am not always able to do it. So I have started to do a little research on it.
The “Right Lane Philosophy” does not mean you have to stop pushing for goals, or let yourself get walked all over by others, but it is more of a philosphy of patience and taking things easier. You still should strive to make your goals, but don’t strive to achieve them in the shortest/fastest path, but the path that is the most benificial to everyone envolved.
Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.
The counsel heard in our youth is still applicable today and should be heeded. “Hold your horses,” “Keep your shirt on,” “Slow down,” “Don’t be in such a hurry,” “Follow the rules,” “Be careful” are more than trite expressions. They describe sincere counsel and speak the wisdom of experience.
The mindless and reckless speeding of a youth-filled car down a winding and hazardous canyon road can bring a sudden loss of control, the careening of the car with its precious cargo over the precipice, and the downward plunge that ofttimes brings permanent incapacity, perhaps premature death, and grieving hearts of loved ones. The glee-filled moment can turn in an instant to a lifetime of regret.
Oh, precious youth, please give life a chance. Apply the virtue of patience.
Notice how he even goes as far as saying that patience is a virtue. A virtue is defined as something that is a character trait or quaility that is valued as being good, and is required to promote individuality and your collective well being. If patience is a virtue, then not having patience would be considered a vice. A vice is a habit characteristic that is immoral, depraved, an/or degrading to society. We can either make patience a virture or a vice.
Dallan H Oaks in a devotional address at BYU given on September 9th 1975 also addressed the subject of slowing down. Elder Oaks talks about how BYU students are remarkable for their unselfishness and willingness to server. But he also tells them to they need to slow down and check their priorities, to make sure that in the future they have enough to serve.
In fact, you have been so oriented toward service and so unselfish with your time that University and Church officials have sometimes had to encourage you to slow down and think more of your own needs for health, education, and self-support during this critical period. Although this caution is not needed for everyone, I would say to a few of you who need this counsel that you should use good judgment not to let your own wonderful impulses to serve others today use so much of your time that you do not obtain the education you need to give maximum service to your family, your Church, and your community in the future. Use good judgment. Remember King Benjamin’s caution, as he told his people to impart of their substance to the poor, and to visit and administer to the needs of the sick: “See that all these things are done in wisdom and order,” he said, “for it is not requisite that man should run faster than he has strength” (Mosiah 4:27).
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we should be lazy. The scriptures teach us that being lazy is not an option as well. I am reminded of a letter that Moroni sent to Pahoran in Alma Chapter 60. In that letter he says: “And now behold, I say unto you, I fear exceedingly that the judgments of God will come upon this people, because of their exceeding aslothfulness, yea, even the slothfulness of our government, and their exceedingly great neglect towards their brethren, yea, towards those who have been slain. ” [Alma 60:14] I am saying that we need to slow down and have patience and think about what we are doing. We need to examine the problem and not rush to a solution, but find the solution that make us and those around us improve and grow.
Our purpose in life is to be steadfast in our beliefs. Nephi explains that “ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” [2 Nephi 31:20]
Alma brings both priciples together when he says, “Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.” [Alma 1:25]
We need to be steadfast in our movement and problem solving, but we also need to exercise patients and think about what the solution is, and find the best way to achive that solotion.
The “Right Lane Philosophy” is just that. You have to make it from point A to point B. But you have a large number of choices to make in the process. If you slow down and work steadfast to make it to point B, you still reach point B, but the end result is more uplifting to those around you. Instead of reaching point B irritated and angry, you reach point B with a calm sense of self. This can be applied to almost any trial or goal that we have. We should slow down, and patiently think of a solution and the be steadfast in our progress to that solution.