Who has the right of way and who gives way? What are the implications of this choice that we make?
Orderly queues and transportation systems across the world face a constant struggle with the ‘me first’ manifestations of the human ego. Some of us believe it is our fundamental right to be ahead of others all the time! You see it everywhere. From the crowded streets of New York to the layered streets of New Delhi. In Dubai too we have this phenomenon of ‘tail gating’ where cars at a high speed come within inches of each other until one makes way in sheer fright. I have always wondered what’s the hurry? Is there a busy gene in us that springs to life as soon as we get behind a wheel? Do we get possessed when we are driving? What will all this hurry achieve? Our transportation machines are also designed to perpetuate this manic urge to move ahead. ‘Power horns’, aggressive light systems with ‘state of the art’ flash capabilities and heavy metal accelerators serve this need rather well! At the same time the poor helpless machines also have sublime air conditioning and music systems that try their best to calm us down and relax. So if you give way, then some may say that you waste time and for others there is more ‘me’ time available. It’s a mindset that is quite fundamental to our personality. Some are always in a rush and some are just happy to amble along.
The Indian thali is an interesting parallel world. Over a dozen curries, chutneys, puris, rice and papadoms wait in crowded and delicious anticipation to be consumed. Any route you take ends in the same output. The smiles are universal and the effect sublime. Who gives way here?
Next time when you are stuck in a jam or want to overtake an imbecile remember that the true highway star hums a very different tune. Give way for those in a hurry. Some say that all roads in life lead to the same destination no matter how fast you plan to drive! My advise: Enjoy ‘me time’, keep calm and carry on!