Simple Life Lessons Re-Learned In Traffic

One has lots of time to think while driving alone on the open road. Whether or not one chooses to think at this time is another thing. Most of us probably will rather listen to the radio or music, or even talk on the phone; of course with Bluetooth headsets or earphones, because clearly we’re all responsible, right? Duh! *crickets chirp*

Yeah… thought so.

It was that kind of morning for me (when I initially started writing this) where the hyperactive gears in my hyperactive head on my hyperactive body (you get the jist) started turning rapidly. It was about 8:50 a.m., and I was late for work, because of course, misery is to company, as lateness is to traffic. During the crawl, it occurred to me: Life is just like traffic! I couldn’t wait to get on a p.c. to write this down. Before you try to preempt me, thinking of the ways life can be compared to traffic; RED light! Stop–Lemme tell you first and then you think about it afterwards. Feel free to add more points in the comments. Vámonos!

1. Changing Lanes – Isn’t it amazing how the other lanes around you always seem quicker, but as soooon as you switch, they turn out not to be (most times)? I hate it when that happens! Sometimes in life, it’s best you stay where you are, instead of trying to get ahead of everybody quickly. In traffic, if you think about it, you only really save a minute or two to get to your destination (if so much), so why rush? In our lives, we are in our respective situations for good reason. Like me, in my current mid-middle-youngish age crisis, you may not see why things are taking so long to happen for you, but you’ll find out in time (NOTE TO SELF). For those who believe, we have an all-knowing God, who allows everything to happen for a reason. Just be patient and you’ll get to where you need to be before too long. Also–on the flip-side–sometimes things are clearly moving well in the other lane, but because of fear, or being stubborn, we stay in our crawl, watching the world fly by. Don’t get laid back and stagnant in this world, and don’t let anything stop you from moving ahead!

2. Sloooooooow drivers – We all detest getting behind these people. Some grandma or grandpa who hasn’t a care in the world, or some overly cautious person is driving HEXTREMLY (H hadded for hemphasis) slow and holding you back. May not be on purpose, but they’re causing a pile up that you don’t want to be behind. People and things come into our lives and can become obstacles, holding us back from achieving our goals and dreams and getting where we need to be. You can allow them to if you want; if you have nowhere to go and you’re driving aimlessly. However, if you got things to do, places to be, people to see; stress not! As soon as you break the corner–whatever your corner is–there’ll be an open stretch of road for you to zip by, leaving them to hold you back no more.

3. Aggressive/Bad drivers – “EEEEEEEDIAT!” “Ole monkey!” “Goat!” (daddy’s favourite lol) or “@%#%!!!” are just some of the many endearing terms we use to describe people who bad drive us/are overly aggressive on the road. If you get angry and retaliate or return the aggression, you could end up in trouble (or dead) the way the world runs these days. Most times I have to just opt for being calm, smart and driving safely; as much as I’d rather to run into someone’s back for bad-driving me. I’ll wait til I get my monster truck anyway. However! My monster truck is not the lesson (but get one if you can, less people will bad drive yuh). The lesson is actually found in the bible, in Proverbs 15:1, where “A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger”. When people in this life get to you with their piggish behaviour and nasty attitudes, just avoid the mess if you can, and DO. NOT. RETALIATE. If you have to, don’t be like them. Handle things in a dignified and controlled way and doe mek nobody draw yuh out. It’s a very hard thing to do, and I’m sure we wish we could punch people in the face and walk away unscathed when they mess with us. I mean, you could try if you want, but key word is “unscathed” here… If you know you’re here for a bigger purpose and you have better things to do than to be like these folk, good sense will prevail and you’ll brush off the incidents and keep on truckin’.

4. Stoplights – Ah yes; good ole stoplights–keeping people safe since 1942. Okay, I totally made that year up. (I googled and saw, 1912, 1914, and 1920. It’s one of them, but idk which :s ) How many times do we get warnings from the amber (yellow), and we just speed up and go through trying to beat the red? If you have my luck, chances are you’ll get a ticket after being accused of running a red light 30 seconds from your house, the FIRST DAY AFTER GETTING YOUR LICENCE after driving  ALL day (thanks stupid Jamaican police–I didn’t speed up and it was amber when I turned!) OR you’ll actually try to beat the amber, but instead break the red and go through and get caught (photo-ticket). Worse case, you could crash into an oncoming vehicle and get injured, be placed in a state of carrot, lettuce and tomato-ness, or die! Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! YET, all the time, everywhere around us, we get warning signs: left, right, centre, up, down, in front, behind and all inna the middle if it can guh suh too. And what do we do? Ignore them and go on with our business until bad happens or we get hurt. Then, we start to bawl and say “if mi did know!” Follow the warning signs in your life. They may not come in 3 colours of red, amber and green, but they come in all shapes and sizes. They could be people like your friends and family, complete strangers even, things that happen, or whatever else you can think of. Open your eyes, ears and mind to the signs and obey them, as they are there to keep you safe and well.

5. People who turn on you suddenly (no indicator) – *Bounty Killa voice* As I were highlight aredi inna wan blog I are were compose long time (<— read there), di people dem who do dis fi bun up. Straight up and down. Yuh jus does not does dat. 'Cause tell yuh what; if I were to are lick dem, I are have to guh pay money, even doe is dem dat are bad drive me, yuh dig? *Ahem* Nothing annoys me more than when someone switches lanes on you suddenly with no indication, or my favourite–indicate after they've already almost killed you off and have navigated 3/4 of the way into their maneuver! Like, what the hell you have a turn signal fah if yuh naa guh use it?! Grieve me!!! And some will have the audacity to look at you afterwards and be like, "what?" like nothing happened, or some unspoken derivative of the stupid thing kids say these days that goes:

I don’t even have to spend time on this. These days, it’s hard to trust people. Even those closest to you, the ones you never thought ever would, or ever could; turn on you in an instant. They leave you with your mouth agape and with your situation in tatters, wondering how you never saw it coming. Time too serious now; gotta be sober and vigilant! Watch carefully and trust only a few. Anything can happen at any time. Protect yourself.

6. People who overtake a line of traffic – they may get to the top quickly, but if they keep driving like that all the time they won’t be driving for too long. You may see people; living large; fancy clothes; fancy lifestyle; all the latest everything–and you haven’t a clue how they even got there. Could be drugs, could be a “link”, could be dishonesty, could be who they slept with, or they could have very well gotten there honestly. Whichever way they did, your concern should be about yourself and ensuring that you go about things the right way, so at the end of the day, nobody can successfully accuse you of faking your way to the top, when you get there. It’ll all be because of the effort and hard work you put it. Jus watch all the #TeamBadmind people dem in your rear-view mirror *so you can check your back* then cut and guh tru!

7. Breakdowns on the road – It could happen to you. It could happen to me. It can happen anytime, any place, anywhere. You really never know when your car will breakdown. Life throws curve-balls at us when we least expect it. People break down, whether due to death, job situations, depression… etc.
This can happen to any of us. Hopefully though, like in this encounter I had, someone will be there to help us, or we will be the ones to extend help to someone who needs it.

8. Snow, Hail and Inclement weather – As I have come to learn VERY quickly–NOTHING sucks worse than driving in snow! Not a damn thing! I live 3-5mins away from my gym, and it took me just about an hour to get there because of snow. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! Also, I hate how people drive so slowly when it rains too, causing massive traffic build-ups. I mean, I know we have to be more cautious in bad weather, but I’m pretty sure it’s okay to go more than 5mph/15kmph in the rain! Just the same, life brings elements that slow us down all the time. Our job is to be patient (hard as that may be for me), keep in good spirits and smile; knowing that the sun will shine again. May not shine tomorrow, or the next day… or the next day… or the day after that… or even next week. But it will. Just wait for it!

Looks fun right? (This is in a parking lot btw)

9. Kind Drivers – I believe there are VERY FEW kind people on the roads, who will give a “bly” an’ ting; especially in traffic! Most times people gwaan like seh if you let one car in front of you, it’ll make you 10 minutes later to get to your destination than maybe 20 seconds or so. For me personally, I think I’m nice enough. If you behave yourself on the road, unless I’m going too fast to stop, or I see you too late, I’ll let you in the line. But, if yuh gwaan like yuh big an’ bad and try to squeeze me out or you try to overtake a line and then cut in front of me; as best as I can–I’m keeping you out. If however my car is in danger of getting scratched or hit; as MUCH as I’d LOOOVE to smash into a few people and go about my business, I will let them in for my own safety. It’s always so refreshing though, when some random person sees all the other cars zipping past you while you try to get into the other lane so you don’t miss your turn, and they slow down and flash their lights to let you know you can go. These nice people in life seem very few, as opposed to those who don’t make this a practice and always seem to speed up when you put on your literal or figurative indicator, forcing you to pull out of your maneuver to save yourself from hurt/injury. It also feels good when you do the same for someone and they acknowledge your kindness. If everybody who reads this can be one of the kind persons, then life will be that much better for those we come across. Obviously, we can’t give everybody a “bly”, but being kind souls will be appreciated by most (sadly not all) of the people’s lives we touch.


I probably never said anything new or earth shattering that you didn’t already know, but I hope that as we drive literally on the roads, and journey on the pathways of life we’ll bear these things in mind for a better commute and improved quality of life.


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