With microaggressions, trigger warnings, and safe spaces in the news — as if university campuses are right around the corner from the projects in Baltimore’s West Side — I was wondering on our drive over to Chelsea Friday night about the need for greater sensitivity on the roads. Here in this part of Michigan, the major artery is the Old Chicago Road, U.S. Route 12, which runs between Detroit and Chicago. My only encounter with Highway 12 is in its two-lane version, which often means having to drive behind vehicles whose drivers hover around the 55 mph speed limit.
So when the broken lines give faster drivers the green light to pass, how do those being passed feel? As the one doing the passing, I am aware of some of the frustration that builds up while waiting for an opportunity to pass, along with the sort of speculation on a slow driver’s reasons for driving slowly — bad car? Almost home? Lots of time on their hands? Oblivious to other cars on the road? On the other side of the experience, do slow drivers feel embarrassed to be passed? Do they wonder if the faster driver is angry or frustrated? Do they resent being made to look like a slow driver? All these questions make me wonder if roads are safe spaces for Americans’ feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelings.
The other passing thought (see what I did there?) comes with the accumulation of years. I recently turned 39 according to a base 17 number system (and expect Jeff Cagle to correct the math) and am aware in ways I have not been until now that the clock is running out and that I am definitely on the back nine of life. So why is it, if I want more time rather than less, that I still want weeks like the last one to hurry up so that I can get to this week — which is Spring Break? Shouldn’t I savor every moment even the ones that are less pleasant or more hectic or more demanding than others? Won’t a time come when I want some of these minutes back?
Instead of being annoyed with a slow driver, should I be thanking him? Will the sufficiency of Scripture or papal authority resolve my dilemma, oh wretched man that I am?