Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What is the Rush?

Last Friday I had two incidents which reminded me how silly most of us are as we rush from one activity to another.

I gave a test, a fairly difficult test which besides the objective questions had numerous short answer, or short essay, questions. It was the Friday that spring break started and most of the students were out in less than a half hour. Some in about twenty minutes. They could not even take the fifty minutes alloted for the test and instead were looking past it. A trick I learned from another teacher is to write the time a test is turned in on the back and when the student complains of their low grade you can use that little visual aide to instruct them on more prudent test taking practices. I haven't decided yet if I will say something to the whole class, a measure of economy, or on the individual test. I think individually because embarrassing people in public is not right.

Then on the way home I was turning left, across traffic, and having to delay because coming up a hill which restricted vision in the oncoming lane there was an unusual amount of traffic. What I learned when I arrived home latter was that there had been a mishap on the highway and drivers were avoiding it by cutting across town. In other words, a normally placid street as far as traffic goes was unusually busy. So, I hesitated in making that left turn into my neighborhood. Then, from two cars back a small black compact car bypassed me and the other car in front of them to make the left turn into my neighborhood. What?!

I was curious. Nobody would turn into that neighborhood unless they lived there and I am always curious to see what careless and inconsiderate people look like. Especially a neighbor. So I followed and tried to catch up. I think the driver panicked seeing someone "following" them and sped up. They exited the neighborhood and before I could figure all this out I followed. Then they really sped up and darting in and out of traffic zoomed ahead of me and out of sight. So this time saving strategy of essentially jumping ahead of the line ended up costing that driver a lot more time because they ended up in the flow of congestion that was diverting from the accident on the highway.

In the space of less than an hour I had experienced people placing their grade in peril in their haste to save a few minutes, and a driver placing other peoples life in peril in their haste to get home a few minutes early. I don't think either incident was worth it.

Hurry for what? Hurry to what? In my life I want to avoid things like that. I want to avoid being a jerk, I want to avoid bad karma and to do the right thing. I want to be a human being who enjoys every breath and takes life as it comes. You can not rush the seasons of nature or your life. I don't think slowing down a bit would hurt anyone.

1 comment:

Sara K. said...

Part of the speed may be our way of coping with our surroundings. The world speeds up and we don't want to be left behind. Fast food; people need to eat fast so they can take the kids to school, get to work, soccer practice, homework, family time, get to bed so they can start the routine over again.
Time is money. Speed is an adrenaline rush. C'est la vie.