Thoughts while driving: Why must we be so selfish?

The selfishness of the human race is on full display when you drive through the streets of a town or a city. It is in these moments of waiting in traffic or cruising slowly through the streets or stopped at a traffic light when you notice the small instances of human insensitivity and selfishness that explain why the lack of consideration for people has become a major threat to the foundation of our generally hospitable and warm society.

On the street I see pedestrians not moving to give other pedestrians way, taking over the entire footpath in groups of 3 or more. On the street I see drivers driving bang in the middles of 2 lanes because they might have to go either way in a couple of minutes. On the street I see vehicles stuck in a deadlock around the roundabout just because no one thought of letting the other car pass through. On the street I see cars and bikes stopped right in the middle of the road to disembark its passengers and I have even seen pedestrians in the middle of the road, not caring about their lives or the lives of others who have to swerve to avoid them.

I see impatience and insensitivity all around and I know, without a doubt, that none of these people would even think for a second that they were selfish.

Selfishness is only believed to be in its extreme forms such as when a mother neglects a child for her beauty treatments, or a husband puts work drinks before his wife. It is then no surprise that with this thinking these subtle forms of selfishness and insensitivity have slowly crept into our lives and have become the new normal.

You might even question me, for a second, and ask me how driving the way you drive or walking the way you walk has to do with selfishness becoming a part of your entire life and character. We are in a hurry, you might say, and we need to get somewhere and sometimes things happen. I understand that completely, as I myself often find myself being late. But, I am sorry to say that you are remiss in thinking that what happens on the street stays on the street. After all, the street is not Vegas.

Slowly and eventually the character we display with strangers on the road becomes the character we display with our near and dear ones and then it becomes our character. Lack of sensitivity thus becomes ingrained in our lives and the lines between sense and nonsense becomes so indistinguishable that we find people hacking each other up for selfish reasons.

So, the next time you find yourself cutting lanes, or jumping red lights or doing anything even off the road that is mildly insensitive to those around, stop! Stop right there and think about the people. Think about that tired businessman, that sick auto driver and that scared child in the back seat. Think about the new salesperson you are shouting at, the timid school teacher that you are questioning, that weary mother whose line you are cutting.

Think about the people. People matter. Treat them with respect, care for them, and look out for them. Make this world a better, safer and warmer place to live in.  Think about the people!


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