I???ve adjusted much of my schedule in recent years to maximise the time I have at my disposal. While we all have the same 24 hours, there are moments wherein I feel that time does go by very quickly. That in itself, I don???t find to be a good thing. With so much that I seek to accomplish, busy for the sake of busy is not what I am after. But on a drive today, that took a little longer than expected, and not being too distracted by the lists in my head, I was actually paying attention to the stuff going on, in the streets.
Situation 1 ??? traffic chaos
It was early in the morning and most people were in their cars heading into work. It was the usual early morning mayhem. At junctions particularly prone to heavy traffic, the tendency was to ignore the rules ??? it was a case of me first.
What you would have seen : If you didn???t push ahead, and ignore the usual traffic rules, you would be stuck in queue for a long time and everyone was pushing ahead, driving their own agenda forward. So, one either played along or got out of the game.
What was really happening : If everyone stuck to the rules, that consistency and regularity would mean everyone would get on with it, in a shorter time frame. Yellow box junctions would not be blocked, preventing more than one lane of cars from moving. People wouldn???t go up and down ramps just to beat the queue by four cars.
The problem : When you think only about your situation, everyone loses, including yourself. This is not the case only in that one situation you are in, but in every situation thereafter. There is a ripple effect in place when the actions of one, then become the actions of many. In the long run, everyone loses when more people start behaving in this short-sighted way. The issue however, is that we tend to live in the here and now. It is about what???s happening in the next five minutes- who cares about what happens to the rest of the people on the road, or what happens tomorrow or even what happens if everyone started behaving like I did? This is a case of us thinking only in terms of what???s in the short term.
Situation 2 ??? child restraints and seat belts
The seat belt situation is a pet peeve for me personally.
What you would have seen : I find it odd, to say the least, to note the level of education and consciousness is similar whether it???s a father riding on a crappy motorbike with three kids (!) and school bags or a lady with two kids in a volvo. These are the same people who see the sense/are guilted into/are just on auto pilot to put on seat belts or headgear for themselves yet fail to do the same for their own offspring.
What was really happening : People are not really taking a considered approach to how they want their kids to travel. They are not considering all the dangerous, potentially fatal possibilities that can occur, regardless of whether these incidents happen through their own fault or not. They go through the day in some sort of auto-pilot haze.
The problem : When you fail to think through the consequences of your actions, the results can be fatal and even, irreversible. I don???t understand why we need to wait for legislation to be put into place for us to be called into action. The consequences of our actions hit us dearly and still, we do nothing. Yet, we have the choice, every single day, every single time we get into a car or vehicle to make the right decision. Not just morally but also personally.
What does this mean? I???ve just raised but two different incidents about how we are faced with so many choices, so many consequences each day. We are boggled literally into making decisions about which ones need to be filtered to the top of the pile. The question is whether we realise that first, there are choices that are clearly within our hands, and those that aren???t and it is our job to discern the difference; and second, which ones we are indeed leaving to fate/chance and which ones we are making proactively.