While this is a financial blog, I am going to take some editorial licence here and move to us – each of us – and the death wishes that many people exhibit daily – and no, I am not talking about smoking yourself to death. I’m talking about the rush to cross streets against “Do Not Walk” signs or playing dangerous games of chicken crossing in the middle of blocks dodging traffic – and all for what? And drivers and cyclists (and skateboarders) who are so self-important they run reddish-orange and red lights? And all for what?
I travel into and out of downtown Vancouver a few times each week – sometimes in the calm of mid-day and sometimes in the unorganised confusion of rush hour – actually hours! Once off the highway into town, I enter the “psycho-zone” of pedestrians and other drivers who chose not to think – not to think about themselves or everyone else around them.
I don’t know about your city, but most traffic and pedestrian lights around the Greater Vancouver area are traffic activated or respond to cross-walk controls on the sidewalks. And interestingly, I have found very few that have a cycle longer than 1 minute – 60 seconds – 20 breathes. What in our lives makes us think for even 1 moment that our lives will not survive waiting 60 seconds?
Sure, for some drivers it is just missing the light or waiting for some other hesitant driver who is unsure of themselves or their vehicle. Perhaps getting caught behind a large transport vehicle or bus is the proximate cause of our momentary anger. For the walkers of the world – even if it is raining, we are all drip-dry – we won’t dissolve like sugar. The skateboarders and cyclists weave around anything and everything – vehicular and pedestrian – all to gain previous seconds – why? We aren’t in the Olympics in a controlled environment – we are at the mercy of everyone and everything around us.
Please think – is my life and my body worth more than 60 seconds in time? I hope so!