Monday, September 29, 2008

Will the good people please stand up?

I know there are a lot of really good people in this world, but sometimes I am amazed at the way people treat each other. As a bicyclist, moving at a slightly slower pace than the rest of the car world, I often witness both good and evil deeds on my ride. Unfortunately, I seem to witness more evil than good.

For instance, on my ride home today a man just in front of me was trying to cross the 3 southbound lanes of traffic on Campbell Ave. I cross this street nearly every day, and let me tell you, it can be challenging around rush hour. A good deed was committed and a driver stopped for this gentleman. As he inched into the street to see if others would stop, the cars just kept whizzing by. There was a clearing, and he made it across another lane. To his dismay, two more cars were coming in the third lane, both of which had plenty of time to stop for him. The first, slowed and maneuvered around him just close enough to make sure he had to get out of the way.

But the second driver made the first look kind. The second car looked him straight in the eye and just kept driving at him, forcing the man to jump out of the way. I wanted to shout all sorts of things, but instead thought to myself, is this the kind of decency we have decided to show other human beings? Is this how we want the world to be, where seconds are so important that we can't slow down or stop and give a fellow human being a chance at crossing the road, maybe even offer him a smile?

It's things like this that really get me to my core, but today I'm going to try to look at it in a different light. Instead, I will take it as a lesson and a reminder to be kind to others and bring my piece of humanity back to this world. I hope tomorrow I can do the same.


  1. I just walk out into the street and hold up my hand, commanding the dummy drivers to stop. It's bold, but simple and effective. Blame is on my Peru experiences.

    The other idea would be to carry a whistle...get one of those cheap things that look like a soccer ball and put them around your neck. A whistle ALWAYS gets everyone's attention.

    Now about your theory...that sounds like something that involves a joint rolling ceremony before the in depth discussion takes place. I'm not familiar with that theory, but I'm brewing an idea from what you brought up. Stay tuned for that!

    P.S.- You probably don't know that ASU's my alma mater (don't use that against me, I like Tucson MUCH better than Tempe), and that I worked in the Tucson area for a couple towns, including one as the planning the age of 30.

  2. There are some pretty RUDE people in this world. Sometimes I wish cars were too expensive to own, so most everyone had to walk or ride a train or a bus. If we had to look eachother in the face, close range, every day maybe we'd all be nicer. I've stopped riding my bike to work because I'm scared to death of being run over by some idiot who either didn't see me or didn't care.


  3. I think I might try the whistle could be pretty funny anyway!

    It's really a shame when we can't even walk or ride bikes anymore without fearing for our lives. That's a big part of why I have gotten into Landscape architecture...hopefully I can work with others to improve walkability and alt. trans. of Tucson or wherever I end up living. I can hope anyway.