[Author’s note: This is the third installment in my Life Lessons in 250 Words or Fewer essay series. It includes short essays, like this one, that are no more than 250 words … plus an accompanied reading.]
I do not rubberneck at car accidents while I am driving.
I don’t remember the exact moment I made up my mind to never do this. At some point I just became overwhelmed by the cumulative effect of 20-minute highway delays being caused by car after car slowing down so that nosy drivers could get passing glances at the misfortune of fellow motorists.
Oh, those inconsiderate curious craning necks.
Yet who am I? I am but one driver.
And in the midst of traffic, my singular act of protest never seems to result in more rapid movement for me or anyone else around.
So what’s the point?
To quote Gandhi:
If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.
So join me in silent, straight a-head protest. I promise you that the benefit of what you see when you turn your head will not be worth the cumulative cost in traffic when everyone follows suit.
My head shall stay straight, in this and in other matters where my actions can have a positive impact.
For I must be the change I wish to see in the world.
And no positive change is so insignificant as to be dismissed as unworthy.
Song credit: “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson [affiliate link]
Flickr Creative Commons Image by Steve Day