I did quite a bit of driving around Canberra yesterday, including at peak time, and I was particularly irritated by the driving. It reminded me that while I was in Korea recently I only saw one car being towed and I instinctively asked my former next door neighbour, who was with me that day, if it had broken down which she affirmed. From the thoughtful way they drive over there I didn’t see any crashes and only heard a few horns blown and then it was much more politely than we tend to do.
It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Many people invest large amounts of money into their cars so shouldn’t we be more thoughtful of this investment, not just our own cars but other’s as well? After all getting to our destination a few minutes early at best isn’t really all that useful to us- what do we do with this time when we have it? If we are involved in a prang, whether our fault or not, we are likely to reach our destination much later than we would have done otherwise.
What has this got to do with being over 65 you might ask? My response is that many of us have reached the stage where the rush in our lives is over, maybe for physical reasons or just because we have opted out of mainstream life. My suggestion is that we take the lead in supporting a caring, thoughtful attitude in our lives, including in our driving. I don’t mean we should crawl along- drivers who do that annoy me as much as anyone else. To me that ignores the rights of others and is selfish. What I am suggesting is that we take the lead in bringing courtesy and caring back into driving and hope we can inspire others to do the same. Maybe it will work, maybe not. But if we can make a contribution to reducing the carnage on our roads, including wreckages in people’s lives as well as to their vehicles, it’s worth a try. The Koreans seem to have gone quite a long way towards being caring towards others, not just in their driving. Do societies have to have the constant threat by an aggressive neighbour to get their values right? I would like to think not and I think we older people, who have seen the advantages of a slower, more personally interactive lifestyle, could take the lead.
At a U3A meeting the other day, about international security, a lady asked what we can do. I think that wanting to make our contribution to the world is something many of us want- it makes our being here worthwhile. If we can get our head around our numbers and be prepared to work together I think we can make a big contribution to making the world a better place. Let’s start by creating a more thoughtful, caring attitude to driving by our own example. Our numbers make us very powerful if we are prepared to use them.