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Taking A Right Turn Into A Valuable Lesson

, , , , | Learning | October 12, 2021

I’m one of those people who often have trouble telling their left from their right. Sometimes I have no trouble at all, but most of the time when someone directs me to the right I go left, and vice versa, with complete confidence until someone calls me back and sets me straight. I’m a little worried about this when I start taking driving lessons, as I’m a perfectionist and have gotten in trouble because of this “handicap”, but thankfully, my driving instructor has a habit of pointing to where he wants me to go. One day, however…

Driving Instructor: “At the next intersection, I want you to turn left.”

He does not point this time. I just say okay and make the requested turn… or so I think.

Driving Instructor: “Okay, you executed that turn very well, but I told you to go to the left, and you turned right instead.”

I start apologizing profusely and manage to stammer that I can’t always tell left from right. I expect the same telling-off I have gotten in the past from teachers or others for “not paying attention,” but instead, he reassures me.

Driving Instructor: “It’s okay; lots of students have trouble with left and right. The point isn’t getting the directions right but driving safely. You can take a wrong turn anytime, even on the exam, and it won’t be a big deal as long as you don’t panic and try to correct in an unsafe way. Every driver makes mistakes, but as long as you don’t endanger yourself or others making them or trying to correct them, it doesn’t really matter. Okay?”

Me: “Yeah, okay, that makes sense. Thanks.”

Driving Instructor: “No problem. That’s why I’m here. Just make sure to mention it during your exam so they know to point the directions, and remember to stay calm. Now, I think this has given us a nice opportunity to practice U-turns, so pick a spot.”

I mulled that speech over for a while, and it really made me less nervous while driving because I realized I didn’t have to be perfect, just safe. That lesson made its way into other parts of my life, as well, and I became much less of a perfectionist, which made my life quite a bit easier. All because I turned right instead of left. Oh, and I passed my driving exam, too.

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