Saturday, February 28, 2004
Emily Post was right

I went from the depths of disappointment to the heights of witnessing a miracle today and in between - I endured some three hours of really bad driving. I'm probably a little older than a lot of you, because I remember when the lanes on the highway meant something. In fact, I remember when they built the interstate in my town. The land taking took a cherry tree I used to climb; it had the sweetest fruit and I remember when driving on that road was a civilized interaction.

It used to be that the far right lane was for slow drivers, the middle was for speed limit drivers and the far left was for people who wanted to drive just a little faster. I used to love to drive when mostly everybody used that rule. It's a simple matter of courtesy, and it was safe.

Tonight as I was driving home in the dark, I had this epiphany about how road rage was born. It was when people stopped observing that rule. I was taught not to pass on the right but it's pretty difficult not to when there's someone going 55mph in the far left and there's two empty lanes to the right of them.

It didn't happen to me once, it happened at least five times tonight. I think people are so distracted by the electronics in their cars, that they just don't pay attention anymore or else they stopped teaching the rule in driver's ed. Either way, three out of five of those cars passed me within ten minutes later, going about 80.

In the larger context of my day, I'm more convinced than ever that if we are to restore civilized society - manners matter - not only on the road, but as we treat each other as human beings.


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