Life is Like Driving a Car
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Life is Like Driving a Car

Reflections on how driving has so many analogies for life itself

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You look at your schedule, and you have to time out how long it will take you to get from Point A to Point B. You measure the distance, take traffic into consideration, and then guesstimate how long the drive will be. It really is just a guess, maybe a good educated guess, but a guess nonetheless, because nothing in life truly is for certain- ever. Whenever I'm in my car, I tend to turn the music off and reflect on the life swirling by around me. This time is different, I realize that all the people driving past me or behind me, or cutting me off, these are representations of life itself. Life is a lot like driving a car.

You have a destination in mind. At least, I hope you do. Sometimes you don't, and sometimes you just need to go for a drive, nowhere specific to go. That's life, right? (All the college kids said Amen.) Some people have a very specific destination, down to knowing exactly where they will park and what time (or so they plan to). Others hope to just arrive some place, while others still just hope they don't die along the way.

While driving, you come into contact (physically or just by sight) with other people along the road. Some are going the opposite direction, and you probably barely even notice them. You might stop somewhere along the road, meet someone, like them and want to continue the friendship, but they hop on the freeway going south, and you know you need to keep heading north, thus the friendship or relationship severs- for better or for worse.

Some people may really piss you off (maybe that's just me because I have road rage every now and then). They may cut you off, side swipe you, run head on into you, tailgate you, flip you off or even slow you down. They may not even notice you, and that can really frustrate you. You can be as aware as you want along the road, but at some point you have to be prepared for those who aren't aware at all. A good driver isn't just in control of their motions, but they understand that sometimes they need to prepare to take evasive action when others aren't paying attention- and to not let their lack of action stop you from being on top of things.

When someone cuts you off or flips you off, it's not the end of your world. It may be frustrating, you may be tempted to speed up just to cut them off back, but that's not mature. Some people may slow you down, and you have to decide to stay close to them in the slow lane, or realize that you need to be more on top of things, pursuing your destination at the speed you were originally going.

There are a lot of traffic lights. Sometimes, you can speed through a yellow and just miss the red light. Other times, you think you could speed through the yellow in time, but you get caught in the red. Still other times, the yellow light doesn't stop someone else, and you end up in a bad accident. Sometimes in life, when you're called to slow down, it's for your own protection, safety and well-being. We too often try to take control of those situations and rush through it, but that could be deadly. Yellow lights were meant to give us a break, to have boundaries, to rest even if only for a 60 second stop light.

Regardless of where you're driving, no matter the time of day, just remember that every other driver you see or meet has a story too. As you see them pass you in the fast lane, when they cut you off, while you watch them drive the opposite direction, or you see them broken down on the side of the road- each driver is just like you; going somewhere with possibly a lot of baggage, most certainly with a story and a reason to go. Don't be so quick to cuss them out in the privacy of your own car when they might have just lost a loved one, or they're rushing to the hospital because a loved one's in labor or in need. Every car has a driver, every driver has a story, and every story matters along the road of life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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