Using Time a Little Differently

Gray morning in Washington, D.C. and the cars were unstoppable.

I stood on the corner of a sprawling intersection with traffic going left and right, diagonal and horizontal.

In the center of the intersection was a glowing neon sign – DC Law: Stop for Pedestrians. But it was morning in D.C., and getting to the urgent places we go in the morning was the law of the land. After all, we have finite time and infinite things to do with it.

I waited for a break in the traffic. Waited. Cars passed. Waited more. More cars passed.

This could be a while, I thought staring at the lines of pickups, station wagons, vans rolling over the road.

But in moments, a gray SUV slowed. Which forced a black sedan to slow. Which forced another car and another car and eventually whole lines of cars to slow.

And if you think one small gesture can’t make an impact, I give you this gray SUV on a gray morning in Washington, D.C. With nothing more than a press on the brakes, it stopped tons – actual tons – of metal and steel and rubber so a human being could pass.

I crossed the sprawling intersection flanked by idling cars. I waved to the driver of the SUV, the driver who had the same finite hours in her day as all the drivers ahead of her. But who had decided to use hers a little differently.

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