Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Moral Reflections in Bad Traffic

What do you think of when you are in bad traffic?

Sometimes, "Aaaargh!"

Sometimes I thank the Lord for delaying me in one way or another so that it is not me up there in the accident. (Not that I'm happy with anyone's suffering.)

Sometimes, apparently, I think of what a better person and citizen I'm becoming through the patience I am learning...if I happen to be learning patience at the time. 

This was the case when I was on vacation earlier this month in Falmouth on Cape Cod. So I wrote, "Bad Traffic Forms Good Citizens" (Worldsmag.com, July 13, 2011).

That column got a record low of 2 comments. But it was worth saying (someone had to say it!), and now it's off my chest.

The final reflections anticipate why column this week on the mysteries of child rearing.

"When children learn that they are not little gods or little tyrants, i.e., that the world is not their private highway between private toy boxes, they learn self-restraint and consideration for others. They may even learn, as the Bible teaches, to consider others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). That is, they may learn that people are more important than things and one’s private ambitions.

"Many adults these days continue to act like children who have never learned these lessons. You see them on the road. You see them most places. They have failed to grow up. They may have passports and they may vote, but they have failed to become citizens in the moral sense. Perhaps a few more graciously allowed left-hand turns in difficult traffic would change that. But change or not, you still let them in. It’s what decent, grown-up people and good citizens do."

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