I hope "The Byrds" Would Approve
One night, while I was driving home, I think I discovered the symbol that I was looking for- the turn signal. Pick any kind of car you want and as different as they are, most modern automobiles at least share the turn signal in common. We all know when we are supposed to use it and yet, many of us feel shielded by some invincible force (2,500 lbs of materials wrapped around us), that allows us to be more selfish, less courteous and frequently downright thoughtless while driving. The anonymity we frequently possess while driving a car allows us to think only of our own needs while maneuvering our vehicle toward our destination.
I've noticed how many people simply forego the simple task of using a turn signal. It is so helpful to other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. It tells everyone else when you are going to change lanes or turn in one direction or another and, if you are going to stay in the lane or go straight. Yet, I see so many thoughtless acts that drivers commit every time I get behind the wheel. I watch a car turn without signaling and the poor pedestrian has to wait in the cold a little longer to cross the street. A small injustice, maybe, but an injustice nonetheless. No one can really do anything about using a turn signal except one person- the driver. Some day, that driver may kill someone if not themselves because of their thoughtlessness- all because of the simple, practical use of a turn signal. If the driver can see everyone else in a more respectful light before committing a terrible tragedy, that proactive reaching out to help others can make everyone else's journey safer and better.
If we can see the nameless, faceless person with whom we share the road or journey and assign the same importance and value to that person as we do ourselves, we can do so without even knowing everyone's destination. If we can at least signal where WE are going and accommodate others in their journeys, which are just as important to them, maybe we are on the right track toward a more just and peaceful society.
AUTHOR: Thomas Conner
Thomas Conner is the co-founder, president and chief financial officer of Sitemason, a hosted, supported alternative to Wordpress and Drupal, built for agencies, freelance designers and developers.