I love my country; I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the entire world. Everything that means anything to me is right here and I still believe it’s the land of opportunity. But I witnessed something today that saddended me a bit and made me think as well.
I was driving today – a drive I’ve done a million times and one I’ll likely do a million more. I was moseying along in my lane minding my own business. We were all sharing the road trying to get to our destinations in the least amount of time possible with the least amount of effort. There were five lanes going in one direction and not a lot of room to spare between cars; typical morning rush hour.
So far, everyone was getting along.
I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw him coming. He was a younger guy – likely in his early 20’s in a newer Nissan Sentra, and he was in a hurry. When I looked back he was behind me and to my left. I looked to the road in front of me and then back to my rear-view mirror again and before I knew it, he was passing me on my right, bobbing and weaving through traffic like it was an Indy car race.
Traffic was starting to slow as we reached a major interchange and he must have thought the next lane over from him was a better place to be so he dove into the next lane as traffic slowed.
Are We Responsible for Raising a Nation of Hypocrites?
Traffic was now at a crawl doing the inch forward and then stop move that many of us are familiar with. The young guy in the Nissan was still just ahead of me and one lane over, inching along like the rest of us. He had the traffic itch, though, I could tell.
Another car that was coming up to the slower traffic in the lane next to him decided his lane was better than theirs and they dove into the space in front of his Nissan.
Young guy in the Nissan was laying on his horn like his life depended on it. He must not have appreciated the driver’s move, diving into the narrow space in front of him. In fact, he didn’t like it so much so that he felt the need to pull back out of his lane into the next, blast around the car that pulled in front of him, swerve back in front of them and SLAM on his brakes. The driver was caught off-guard and slammed on their brakes, causing a huge chain-reaction of brakes and tires screeching.
I witnessed this entire process. I saw young guy in the Nissan do the very same thing to someone else that was just done to him and yet, someone it was a major offense against him; one that required retribution in the form of payback and a protruding middle finger.
Something in that young man’s mind made him believe his actions were justified, both in lane-diving in front of another car and the extreme measures he went to to demonstrate that another driver’s same action was uncalled for.
But what was it? What made him justify that in his mind? I can’t help but think he was just raised that way. Of course, I don’t know him from Adam. Perhaps he just hadn’t had his morning coffee yet or he had an argument with his girlfriend before he left the house that morning. We all have bad days. We all see this sort of behavior almost every day, though, don’t we? We may even be guilty of perpetrating this type of hypocritical behavior ourselves. If we’re acting like this in front of our children, what type of message is that sending to them?
Do Unto Others and Parental Responsibility
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
We all know this saying to be the Golden Rule, but how many of us are following the rule ourselves or teaching it to our children? Young guy in the Nissan wasn’t following this rule. Aren’t we responsible for the type of people our children ultimately grow up to be? Isn’t it our responsibility as parents to guide them in the right direction and to make good decisions instinctively?