What If?

It’s not uncommon to hear individuals complain about the other drivers in the city or town they call home.  In fact, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone day, “This town has the worst drivers.”  Maybe it’s just part of the local experience.

So, the other day I’m driving through the city on my way to a meeting.  The signal turns red as I approach an intersection so I slow and then stop at the crosswalk’s line – first at the light.  I then notice in the crosswalk on the other side of the intersection, a pedestrian . . . assumedly blind, as he’s using a white cane to find his way.  This would not typically be noteworthy, but as he begins to cross the street, I watch as he meanders out of the crosswalk and into the intersection, still tapping his white cane from side to side as he walks.  My anxiety begins to rise as I say to myself, “This could be really bad,” especially since I live in a state ranked number three in the nation for pedestrian deaths, and a city that’s had five times the pedestrian fatalities so far this year than all of last.

Fortunately, the other drivers noticed what I was seeing and traffic from all directions stopped until this man found the curbing, and regained his place on the sidewalk . . . seemingly oblivious to the danger around him.

Relieved, I continued toward my destination but could not help but think about what could have been.  One of my complaints about drivers in particular, and our society in general, is it seems that everyone is in a hurry.  And in the rush to get somewhere or do something, we can easily become concerned only about ourselves and lose sight of the needs of those around us – even in traffic.

This episode at the intersection reminded me of Paul’s description of Christ-likeness in his letter to the Philippians.  “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves, do not merely look out for your own personal interest, but also after the interests of others.”  (Phil 2:4) What if we each took this admonition to heart in all our affairs?  This world might look more like the intersection that day.

© 2017 by Roger Daniels