To the man who cut me off on the highway in Wareham yesterday and then legitimately shocked me with what he did next, this open letter is intended for you.

First, however, indulge me a few moments to fill the rest of the readers in on what happened between us on Wednesday afternoon.

I left the Fairhaven studios of WBSM about an hour before a haircut appointment so that I wouldn’t be rushing to get to my barber in Onset. As I was cruising down Interstate 195 listening to The Barry Richard Show, I reached the interchange with Route 25 and started heading toward Cape Cod.

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I was driving in the far right travel lane of the three-lane highway. Just before the Wareham-Onset exit, a large black pickup truck came out of nowhere from the middle lane, pulling out in front of me in a near-miss in order to get into my lane before reaching the exit.

I threw my hands up in the universal motion for “what the heck?” and then continued on, taking the exit as well. When we both reached the end of the off-ramp, we were both taking a right turn. At the intersection a few dozen yards away, we hit a red light.

That’s when the man who was driving the truck exited his vehicle and began walking toward mine.

Now, I’ve been in a few road rage situations before – sometimes dealing with someone who was having it, sometimes having it myself – but I’ve never had someone get out of the car at a red light and walk toward mine. Yes, I’ve had someone follow me to my destination, or pull alongside me to yell something at me, but I’ve never had someone actually park their vehicle in the middle of the road to address the issue.

Expecting the worst, I braced myself for what was about to happen, trying to remind myself to stay calm and not let my temper get the best of me as I put down my window.

That’s when he completely floored me with his reaction.

“I’m really sorry,” he said, with a genuine look of concern on his face. “You were in my blind spot.”

“Oh, no problem at all,” I replied. “Have a good day!”

With that, he got back in his truck as the light turned green, and we both continued on with our day.

But sir, if you’re reading this, I want you to know that in all my years of being cut off by other drivers, nobody has ever apologized to me for it – and to be honest, in all the times I’ve cut other people off, I’ve never apologized to them, either.

Mistakes happen, momentary flashes of anger or frustration usually follow, but simply telling the other person you’re sorry for that mistake is a lost art, if it was ever even an art at all.

I posted the encounter to my Facebook page, and most of the comments in response were along the lines of “that didn’t go the way I expected it was going to go.” To that, I say “me either,” and what does that say about us as a society?

We’d sooner expect someone to get out of their car and start a fight – heck, maybe even pull a gun – than we would expect a simple apology. In retrospect, it took some guts on his part to even offer one up, because for all he knew, I’d be ready to step out and get physical with him, or maybe pull a weapon myself.

Instead, what I encountered was a considerate and courteous man who had just made an honest mistake, owned up to it, and wanted to express his remorse.

Sir, let me finish this open letter off by saying you didn’t do anything wrong, but yet still managed to do the right thing. I hope sharing this story with our readers will encourage others to do the same thing next time they’re in a similar situation.

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