Rush Hour

Today, as I was driving (or not driving) in rush-hour traffic, I thought, Dang! It's going to take me 45 minutes to get from point A to point B. That's awful. I was driving through an area of suburbia which until recently has been rural and is still peppered with wooded lots and pastures, and lots of narrow two-lane tree-lined roads. The commuters wending their way home through the gloam made a caravan of headlights more than a mile long. Something about it didn't just slow down the cars but seemed to have a calming effect on the drivers as well.

I thought of how one hundred years ago, most folks wouldn't dream of traveling from my point A to my point B in just one day, especially because the area was thickly wooded, with small homesteads carved out of the forest, with dirt roads often up to the axles in mud, especially at this time of year. Even fifty years ago, such a trek would have taken several hours, not 45 minutes. What was I complaining about?

As Dan said on Single Dad Laughing, technology is great. It allows us to accomplish things that were unthinkable fifty years ago, or twenty years ago. We just need to beware of the trap of allowing it to control our lives, rather than enhance it. With everything whizzing by at the speed of a microchip, we can focus on nothing but ourselves. We need to look up from our phones and game decks and computers once in a while, preferably up into the eyes of a fellow traveler, and with any luck, into their hearts as well.

I think that we have to slow down to be truly grateful for the amazing things in our lives—our family, our friends, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the employment which allows us to provide for ourselves and our families—the very fact that we breathe in and out and the sun shines. and be grateful that the most important things in life will always remain so, and upgrading is always free.

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