Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Essay 1

The most dangerous part of my day occurs at the start of my commute. Before exiting the neighborhood, my Concerta 27 begins to kick-in and I think. Clear, coherent thoughts emerge and merge to form sentences, paragraphs, even essays. Sadly, this is also the time I’m trying to make a right-hand turn into morning traffic.

I sit and wait wondering; no actually I am convinced that what I’m experiencing is a microcosm of our societal ills. Car after car passes without regard for me or the others waiting to join the stream. Eventually someone slows down and flashes their lights giving me hope.

Early in our development we, by nature, are egotistical. We have to be. When we’re 4 years-old life can be a jungle. When we’re hungry, thirsty, tired, we let the world know and, hopefully, our needs get met. Eventually we expand our idea of the world to include others. Often this is painful, but with the help of parents, family, and/or caregivers we soon realize the path is shorter with the help of others. Cooperation. This is a challenging concept, but eventually we get there.

Back to traffic. At some point we revert. Me. Me. Me. I can only imagine what, if anything, is streaming through the minds of those that can’t slow down to let another car in, or to those that speed up instead of slowing down to allow one to merge with traffic. “No way in hell am I going to do anything to jeopardize my chances of getting to my job 2 minutes earlier (even though my job sucks and the only reason I’m doing it is so I can live in a house that’s too big and drive a bigass car that seats seven even though I only have 2.5 kids and a wife that meds up each day just to handle life).”

Slow down. Realize there are others and to tackle the challenges we all face we need to work together instead of using people as stepping stones. Of course if there were bike paths to connect the places we live to the places we work…wait, that’s another essay I’ll craft tomorrow as I wait for the car that understands. That one car that is secure enough with their existence to contribute to the wellbeing of others. I may even take my Concerta earlier in anticipation.

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