(TRAVEL) OUR DAILY HUMAN RACE

By Jug Varner

Maybe it is a natural thing to become more cautious as one gets older, or perhaps it just takes some of us longer than others to get smart. Whatever the reason, one thing I have learned by experience is this: Those who observe the speed limit and drive at a steady pace get where they are going about as quickly as the get-out-of-my-way speed demons that must think they are driving the Indianapolis Speedway.

You know the ones I'm talking about…the “road rage types.” Their air stream practically blows you off the road. They change lanes with reckless abandon and endanger everyone's life and limb. Generally, you catch up with them at the next signal light or traffic tie-up. So these egocentric automotive show-offs save precious little time in the overall scheme of things. The down side of it is the heartache, death, and destruction they cause to others. Unfortunately, not enough of these clowns kill only themselves.

It is also unfortunate that this sort of thing occurs all across the nation, not just in metropolitan areas or on major highways. People everywhere are impatient to get where they are going. If you don't agree that the majority of drivers today exceed the speed limit, you can easily prove it to yourself. Simply set the speed control on the speed limit and count the number of cars that pass yours. You will quickly learn how it feels to be in the minority. You will also be the recipient of a lot of dirty looks, a few honking horns, maybe even a fist or two shaken in your direction, for your dastardly deed of impeding their progress.

I am no psychologist, but it seems to me some of this relates to a growing lack of respect for law, authority, and fellow-citizens. The fast pace of modern life, the daily grind of commuting, starting too late, and many other reasons factor into the equation, but lack of common courtesy and disregard for the rules must be high on the list. When the safety experts say, “Drive defensively,” they know whereof they speak.

Why is everyone in such a hurry? Why not relax, slow down, enjoy the ride, and sooth the so-called tension of modern living. In addition to arriving as quickly as the “rager” does — and in a lot healthier state of mind — there is a bonus of self-satisfaction for being courteous.