There’s this thing called zipper merge. It’s a thing. Google that sucker. It will then proceed to try to educate you on how to correctly and most efficiently merge during high volume traffic when a lane is closing ahead. It will try to tell you that it is actually the suggested traffic pattern. It will try to explain to you how it actually is better for traffic flow and that it’s like science, yo.
But those of you who merge TOO EARLY think we’re being rude and arrogant and try to close the gap between you and the car ahead of y0u as much as possible to not let us in. This is not correct, efficient, or science-y, and if you are that person, you need to STOP THAT, a la Bob Newhart’s counselling method. (Watch it here if you don’t know what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw)
All that said, it won’t matter. It won’t matter that there will be this big push toward educating the public or telling kids in driver ed or taking out ads during Super Bowl (I don’t know if anyone did that, but it’s worth a shot). It simply won’t matter because public opinion is public opinion and it will take either a huge national tragedy (usually) or the apocalypse of some kind (which only works because it knocks off a good percentage of the offending public). It takes something to wipe out transportation altogether where no one is actually driving around more than a couple cars at a time and there is certainly no construction going on. People just don’t change their minds. Let alone listen. They just don’t.
This all remind you of something? Oh right. That pesky election thing. When was that again?
I’ve done a good job, if I say so myself, of refraining from commenting. I will continue to refrain from saying anything specific. What I will say in a generic way is that no one changes their minds. They just don’t. We cling to every preconceived notion we have ever had as if life and death is at stake. And of course that’s exactly how we feel about it. Both sides. Every side. Each one will go to great lengths to defend, excuse, blame, ridicule, etc. and where does it get any of them?
I’m tired. I’m tired of driving all the way to the end of the lane to have people ridiculously go out of their way to keep me from getting in front of them. I’m tired of listening to people who have zero intentions of listening to anyone who disagrees. I’m tired of people who actually expect one person to fix everything that’s wrong with this country, and meanwhile don’t have any such expectations of the hundreds – literally – of local reps, council members, mayors, governors, senators, etc., much less even be able to name all the people running this year or any given year. I’m tired of the people who keep posting things with a smug air of “oh yeah, take that?”-ness where they actually think that one thing is going to change anyone’s mind. Again with the mind changing. You’d think by the way some people post on Facebook that they are getting some kind of monetary kickback.
I want to be reminded that sometimes doing the right thing, the proven thing, the science-y thing, is hard and will get you a few jerkfaces in your face. But it’s still the right thing. But more than traffic patterns, the pattern of our lives means doing the right thing. Sticking with it. Letting people in, even when they’re doing it wrong. Keeping our mouths shut. Not making things worse. Just do what you know is good, right, true, and pure. Right up until you start getting self-righteous smug on you…