Editorial: Slowing down-A A +A
Monday, December 30, 2013
TOWARD the end of the year speed limits were implemented and that sent us slowing down our pace.
At first, it was frustrating. Imagine going out early in the morning when traffic has not even started piling up and the driver goes at the speed of a bicycle. Thumbs start to twiddle.
A few days later, you get tired of listening to taxi drivers complaining about how slow the speed limit is, and you just tell them to shut up and obey since it’s the law.
Weeks after, you have accepted the new pace and learned to look around, see the changing landscapes, the old buildings and the new ones, and the bicycles that your taxi tries to overtake pushing the speed to an iffy 35kph instead of the 30kph speed limit. Overspeeding!
Then comes the realization, not much has changed. You still reach the office at around the same time and the drivers have given up on complaining. Best of all, fewer people are blasting their horns since everyone is slow.
Maybe there is wisdom there. Maybe in slowing down a bit, we learn to appreciate more. And maybe in slowing down a bit, we realize that all those drive for productivity as against quality life is really just an insurance to a disease-pocked retirement age. Maybe in slowing down a bit we realize that there is really no need to rush most of the time.
In slowing down, we appreciate details and learn to see instead of just blindly zipping past. It gives us time to reflect as well, whether you are the one on the wheels or the passenger.
Remember how it was before. Running at 60kph downtown, a taxi would still overtake you, running at 80kph. But, a jeepney will just as quickly cut both of you, and a blast of horns and curses follow. The anger stays with you until the morning ends as you gnash your teeth for not having a gun to shoot that blasted driver instead. But what will that give us?
The one who has a gun will now be wanted. The morning full of anger have either made your blood pressure shoot up or made your co-workers angry as well. And maybe, just maybe, because of the minutes spent shouting at each other on the road, the total minutes you consumed in riding to your office is actually 30kph.
We’re not saying we didn’t rant. We did. But there will always come a time when we fully comprehend dura lex sed lex. But the harshness is most felt when we choose to react harshly.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 31, 2013.