Did you ever go to the Traffic department when you were in junior school to learn the rules of the road? I remember in grade 1 being taken by bus with a bunch of 6-year-olds and being very excited. We were taught the theory of riding on the left of the road, looking left and right and left again to be sure there was no traffic before crossing a road, using hand signals and all the rest. Then we chose a bicycle to ride around the mini road park with road signs and traffic lights. I could ride a two-wheeler and be spared the embarrassment of having to ride a three-wheeler. It was chaos at first but in the end, we got it all sorted out after a lot of laughter and some anger.
Generally, I kept to the rules as I grew up and remembered what I learned that day. Until one day when I was in grade 11, I nearly died in a bicycle accident outside my house. I rode out of my driveway with a friend and failed to look left and right and left again. I am fortunate to be here today to write this blog.
Did I need to be told to look left and right and left again when I was 6 years of age?
Did I need to be told at 17?
Here’s the thing; I had become complacent, arrogant, and lazy.
That is one example of being taught and not following the rules and suffering the consequences. I could write pages full of the many breaches in my life.
I also remember the general rules of keeping good hygiene, eating a healthy diet, getting a good night’s sleep to live a healthy balanced life. Other than a visit to the dentist to have a tooth filled, or the odd tummy aches from eating too many sweets.
Then there were the rules of telling the truth and being trustworthy which did have consequences that are too painful to discuss here. Suffice to say that I grew up in the era of ‘spare the rod and spoil the child’.
Confession time; I still don’t follow all the rules of the road and have paid traffic fines to prove it.
Are you surprised?
I doubt you are. Even after hearing about my grade 11 brush with death. And if you’re honest, you do the same.
Do I stick to the rules for a healthy, safe, and balanced lifestyle?
Mostly I do, but not consistently. I have to keep a check on myself daily.
The truth is that I still lapse into complacency, arrogance, and laziness.
I have been vulnerable and now it is your turn.
Are you looking left and right, and left again?
This kind of rule keeps you safe, stable, and out of trouble. It is not written on a piece of paper for you to reference in every situation. It is something that is a part of you. It is not negotiable, but you choose to violate it at will and step out into the traffic. Are you complacent, arrogant, and lazy?
It’s time to take stock and be honest.
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I can help you cross the road safely more often.