What does yield really mean?

It’s amazing(disturbing) how just a short drive can throw all the peace and calm out the window. Surely you’ve been there too… Can you believe these crazy people? How did they get their drivers licenses? Who do they think they are? Don’t they know what YIELD means?!

Does this inner dialogue sound familiar? Or perhaps yours is outer dialogue, with added key words for emphasis and feeling.  But really, how dare that driver decide to just barge on thru to MY lane and pay no attention to road signs or traffic flow! Good thing I am paying attention and can tell them what an idiot they are (because that works like a charm every time). Yep, we all know sometimes our patience is like, “nope”. It is times like these that it is best to make sure our horn works.

But then there are some days that we can hold compassion… perhaps someone is giving birth in the backseat of that car? Or perhaps–I have really and truly thought this to myself before– they don’t know what yield means? And then out of my reflective nature, I ponder the idea….do I know what yield means?!

So I had to look it up to be sure. I had mixed knowledge from driving school and cooking with recipes…one definition tells me to wait my turn and one tells me how many servings. So what gives? Webster says it’s because it’s both a verb and a noun. As a verb, yield means to give way to. As a noun, it’s the full amount of product. Interestingly, the word origin is to pay (or repay), and over time the word Yield evolved to mean surrender. Hmmm…obviously a perfect choice for a street sign. Why couldn’t the sign have just said WAIT(and I wonder if it ever said Hold yer Horses…)?

I could have done some research to answer this question, but for now let’s assume it was rhetorical. It is not my aim to know the history of the road sign decision makers. What I am interested in is using this expanded context of the word to give myself more peace of mind in those annoying spots on my drive to work.

Because the truth is, I can’t change the other drivers. I can’t teach them what yield means. I can only teach myself, to serve my own understanding. Gandhi is quoted for saying “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Yes, it is cheesy. That is why they put it on paperweights…like this one my Grandma gave me when I was little.

This thing is 23 years old!

So in other words…If I want the world to have better drivers, and I want these drivers to be fueled by compassion, and I want them to be observant of all signs(roadside and woo-woo)…I have to surrender. I have to fuel myself up with compassion and observe the signs before me.  For my peace of mind, I must yield. There is no relying on others for this effort…and no amount of road rage can change that fact.   

In conclusion: Be the driver you wish to see in the world. Slow down and enjoy the ride…why are we in such a hurry to get to the next spot anyway? Lately I’ve been passing time in the car by listening to entertaining and educational podcasts. If you’re in need of a new listen that creatively blends both, check out Write Here, Right Now right here, right now! Grab a pen and paper, because the title isn’t all talk…we offer a prompted creative writing session and share our spontaneous stories at the end of each episode.

Please feel free to email me with input or questions towards this discussion! You could also share your comment below… maybe you’ll inspire a fellow reader.  Speaking of readers, thank you for being one. It is a fantastic and fortunate habit to have.

2 thoughts on “What does yield really mean?”

  1. Good one Moni. Now let’s contemplate ‘capitulate’ as a form of yielding and consider perhaps that it was to many letters ( for a road sign) and oh my gosh if ‘yield’ was poorly comprehended … I can only imagine… tee hee… your magical words that would entice upon you

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