A Lesson From The Kids


I may or may not be an eavesdropper... One day my kids were chatting in the back seat when my daughter asked,

"Why do you think there's so much traffic?"

My son didn't miss a beat, "It's because people change lanes too much!"

"That's NOT why!" my daughter said

"Yes it is," he protested, "too many people are in a hurry to get around each other and then they hit each other and THAT makes traffic!"


I'm sure a traffic engineer would have a different theory, but maybe not VERY different. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the best.

I wasn't about to quibble with a 9-year-old's insight.

Perhaps we ARE stuck on the 405 (or 285 or 101 or BQE, or....) because we are all in too big a rush and we can't wait our turn.  Maybe we bump into each other because we're too caught up in looking out for OUR gap, OUR shortcut, OUR opening.

Sometimes now when I'm stuck in traffic, I find myself day-dreaming about cars which only change lanes when they are moving to an exit.

Maybe slowing down and waiting our turn behind the wheel would help traffic flow in general. Maybe little changes in our behavior could make a big difference in the outcome.

During one of my extended traffic waits, I applied my son's insight to life in general.

What make my days frustrating and complex?

Do I run in a pack too much? Do I have enough margin around me? Am I in a rush? Am I blowing past others at an unsafe pace? Am I mostly looking out for me?

If so, I shouldn't be surprised when I bang into others and life becomes exponentially more stressful.

How well are you "driving" these days?