Daze of My Life: Rant, Not a Rave
Daze of My Life
Rant, Not a Rave
If there's any truth to the axiom that you judge a man - or a woman by the company that they keep, then might you also judge an industrialized nation in which those men and women live by the manner in which they drive their automobiles? And by driving I don't mean their proficiency behind the wheel, rather, I mean their behavior while driving; their code of conduct, their decision-making, in general, I mean their understanding and appreciation of themselves as they relate to the motorized world in which they regularly drive.
And if my experiences of late in the car are any indication, then we are doomed. (Moreover, from what I've seen, given the sheer numbers of aggressive and inconsiderate drivers on the roads, as concerns us innocent victims, unfortunately, we are likely damned if we do and definitely damned if we don't, get a grip, that is, and put a stop to this reckless endangerment.)
Certainly I don't presume to know what the rush is, nor do I know any of the extenuating circumstances that cause individual drivers to drive so impolitely - and selfishly. For the one percent, though (and I am obviously guessing but think I'm being overly generous) who have excuses (written or otherwise) drive like idiots, you must, apparently. But for the remaining 99 percent who have no such extenuating circumstances and/or job-related or medically effected reasons to drive in the uncivilized manner in which you do, let me ask you a question: Are you stupid or do you simply value your life and the lives of others around you so little that you could care less about the potential life-ruining consequences of your driving actions?
Look, I'm too young to die, and certainly I am too young to die at the irresponsible hands of some inattentive hot shot who needs to get from here to there in much less time than I do. The reality of the time-space continuum, as us Star Trek fans know is, you can't really manipulate time and space and distance without some severe consequences later. ("The future's the past, the past is the future, the whole thing gives me a headache," Kathryn Janeway, Capt., Star Trek: Voyager.) And those of you driving like madmen out there, endangering my life - and the lives of others as well, who think that you can fool Mother Nature, so to speak, and beat the rush, well, you can't, you're only fooling yourselves. And thinking you can is justification enough to revoke your driver's license and detain you at home.
Unfortunately, there are certain realities in this world, dare I presume to say rules, to which all of us, well, most of us, should be able to relate, and the biggest and simplest one is, do unto others as you do unto yourself, i.e., use some common sense. If you want your fellow drivers to respond to your blinker indicating your intention to turn, or to not honk their horn at you immediately (and I mean an absolutely millisecond) after the stop light turns green or not allow you to merge on to the Beltway safely, then keep doing what you're doing. However, there is another rule to consider. One that I think (hope), exists in all of our heads as well; regardless of race, creed, color, age, experiences, etc., and one with which we can all agree and relate to: what goes around, comes around. Speed kills, but so does stupidity. Remember, the life you save may be your own; is that incentive enough for you?
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.