19 August 2007

Non-chalant

I noticed something on my way to work today; nothing really out of the ordinary, but it strongly highlights the way our people think and react, and displays their attitude towards life in general.

On my way to work, I pass by a busy intersection. Four main roads crossing, with traffic lights on each one. Naturally during the morning rush, these roads get pretty busy; skipping a red-light is not exactly the safest activity during this time of day.

Well, a few seconds after the traffic light turned red on one side, an ingenious driver decides that his beat up Toyota Echo actually has enough horsepower to make it across to the other side without causing any sort of disruption in the traffic flow. Incorrect. He actually crossed as the opposite light turned green and the cars started moving, came within centimeters of his hitting his car, had to slam their brakes, blow their horns to display their anger, and probably curse the hell out of him. He went on his merry way, however, not thinking much of the situation.

Here's the part that got me thinking, however. As I saw him cross, after causing the huge disruption, he actually had a huge grin on his face; the passenger in the car with him also seemed to find this funny, and they laughed it off as they passed.

Not a big deal right? Got caught in a bit of a silly situation, and wanted to laugh it off?

Well, here's what I figure from all of this; total disregard for the law, no concern for the safety of themselves or anyone around them, and even when they manage to cause a potentially harmful situation, they couldn't care less. In other words, a total lack of any sort of responsibility, or sense of right and wrong. Unfortunately, this isn't a unique situation. This "I own the road" attitude is actually frightening; on your average day, just look around you while driving. If it isn't the speeding, dangerous overtaking, tailgating or so on, it's crossing red lights, U-turning where you're not supposed to, and so on. Even the small things like parking in the wrong spots and so on happens all the time. The problem is, a great number of people, especially those who have recently gotten their driving licenses, seem to think that as long as they don't get caught, there is no problem.

But this attitude isn't restricted to roads; it goes on to cover our general behavior, whether skipping a queue in a supermarket or a bank, trying to get something which we don't deserve, and so on. During my life, i've lived in other countries, i've seen citizens of other nations grow up learning that rules and laws are there for the general welfare of the whole, and are meant to be followed in order to benefit everyone. Why do we grow up and learn the opposite?

How has this attitude been instilled in us? Do we really think we are above the law and the rules that should govern our behavior from day to day? Should that guy really have been smiling as he crossed that light?

1 comment:

Yacoub said...

Just yesterday I was waiting at a red light this car at the other side of the traffic lights slams the brakes because the the light turns red and mine turned to yellow so I start moving and all of a sudden this idiot decides to jump the red light as I was crossing the intersection.. like WTF!! you slammed your brakes knowing that it's a red light then change your mind just because you crossed the white line

It's really f*cked up the situation we're in, it seems that nobody has any common sense or social obligation to keep others and themselves safe.

It's good to see that the Traffic Directorate are campaigning like there's no tomorrow to hopefully make these idiots think twice and inshalla not make them less obedient to the law and more non-chalent like you say