Monday, July 11, 2011

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." - Edmund Burke

In that spirit, here’s my modest proposal. Back in the innocence of the 50’s, the Dark Ages of “duck & cover,” there was a bumper sticker that read, “Courtesy is Contagious.” Simplistic for sure but in this day of road rage and an Uzi for a turn signal, we could use a sh*tload of courtesy. There’s a real easy way to disarm folks-wave at ‘em. Yup, if you and I start wavin’ at people that cut us some slack while we’re casually careening down the 5 in the middle of the bumper mating season, euphemistically called rush hour, we might have the start of a movement, “The Wave.” Tell your friends, spread the word and just maybe we can get folks to realize that the guy in the car next to ‘em is a fellow human and not Attila the Hyundai. That’s the problem in a nutshell; we don’t know the guy in the other car. Back in the ‘60’s the Japanese did a study using rats, a very social animal. They put an ideal sized community of rats in a maze and rats being the social critters they are, would greet each other with a sniff, a snort and whatever else well adjusted rats do to acknowledge each other. They overcrowded the maze and the rats became sullen, no longer greeting each other but passing without a sniff, snort or other ratly social graces. They dubbed this “City Psychosis.” Change that maze to a freeway and you’ve got “Road Rage at Rush Hour.” Mine is a modest proposal but like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” So don’t be timid, roll down that window and that guy that let you in his a lane a big ol’ wave and let’s see how contagious it is.

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