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Urgency or Emergency - will we ever learn to slow down?

Updated on May 13, 2015

Ever have one of those days where everyone around you just seems to be in a big fat hurry? Is that you? What happened to 'stopping to smell the roses'? What we feel is urgent, is not always important.

Every day, it is all around us, people in a hurry, often times to get nowhere in particular, just to be in a hurry. That is the feel of our world as a whole today in the United States and quite possibly much of the world. Watching things unfold can be quite entertaining, until things become personal or exceedingly dangerous. In the past week, several incidents I have witnessed just made me cringe at what must be running through the other persons mind when they make these kinds of actions. Others can just be downright annoying. The first three of these could have resulted in a number of things from minor traffic infractions, to seriously injuring, or killing someone.

Early in the week, a good friend of mine was the victim of a person being in too much of hurry to stop for a stop sign. As a result, my friend hit this person from the side, since he had the right of way (no stop sign). This resulted in 2 things: 1) the offending drivers vehicle was flipped over, 2) the offending drivers insurance rates will undoubtedly go up. Why? Most likely this was due to impatience and a lack of following rules. It was offered up by the offending party that this had happened to him at this intersection before (his fault then too). My friend’s truck bumper came away with a small dent and a scratch if you were wondering.

Yesterday, on my way home from work, stopped at a red light, with five vehicles in front of me, and a left turn lane next to me with two vehicles in it, our light turned green, and the traffic slowly began to move. I had just put my foot into my accelerator and was closing the expanse between myself and the cars in the left lane, when a Dodge Caravan appeared to be heading into the left lane at a high rate of speed. Instead of slowing down, it sped up to dart in front of me at the last moment, narrowly escaping catastrophe, which could have resulted in a several vehicle pile-up, me included. All of this achieved about an extra .05 seconds of time to that persons day, as they only attained the spot directly in front of me, as we all came to a stop not 1000 feet further at the next red light.

Then today, close to the same intersection with the Caravan, on my way home again, same time of day, this time in the opposing traffic, several vehicles were stopped waiting to cross traffic to get to the gas station. The fourth vehicle in that line, a large, white van of the child abduction variety, decided their time was too precious to wait, and went between the stopped traffic and a fence not 8 feet from the vehicles. Once again, haste caused a serious lack of judgment for this person, as I watched their van slide further down the ditch that was between the road and the fence. I did not look back to see what happened in that situation, I imagine it ended like most other hastily thought through plans.

Getting off the road and into our personal lives, we continue to see the effects of a hurried society. There have always been impatient people, and most everyone is guilty of being unable to wait for something to happen in their life. However, we now are living in a world where the upcoming generation lives in an on demand, I want it now kind of world. There simply fails to be a sense of earning things, to work hard to earn vacations, to save money to buy highly sought after items. Whatever happened to the old adage: “work hard, play hard.” It seems more often the motto today is, “play hard, work when I feel like it.”

Even though there is a demographic that has strayed away from this mentality, learning from the failings of their forefathers own hasty actions, their numbers are few when compared to the majority of the population. Why wait for something when you can have it now? I want it now! Certainly I am guilty of that myself, but I have learned through the years to slow down, and not act so hastily. When you work hard for something, saving up to buy that new gadget, accessory, vehicle, or house, there is a sense of pride that goes with it, and not a sense of entitlement that you deserve it just because you are you. Patience in our youth is being stolen away more and more, as everything becomes so widely accessible, in a palm sized, 24-hour, on-demand, get it now, pay later world. Will they ever learn to slow down, or like those hasty drivers, will their sense of urgency prevail to go nowhere fast?


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