First, some background information. Maine law says drivers must yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. It’s a fairly well known law here in ME, and probably all over the country. What’s not as well known is that if a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection with traffic lights, they must yield to the lights, and cross when the light is red. Now, onto my story…
I was on my way into work this morning. I was stopped at the stoplight near my house, at the intersection sometimes known in Rockland as “Five Corners.” This intersection was recently upgraded with new traffic lights, and new walk/don’t walk lights complete with countdown timers–the ones that tell you when the light’s about to change. On the opposite side of the intersection from me, a mother pushing a baby carriage with another child in tow begins to cross what is a fairly wide intersection. Knowing how long I’ve been at the intersection, I know she’ll never make it across before the light changes. In fact, almost as soon as she leaves the sidewalk, the light changes. Three lanes of traffic that should be moving through this green light are now stopped, waiting for this lady to cross. She makes no attempt to hurry across the intersection, but walks at her regular gait.
As she’s just past lane #2, the guy in the car calls out the window to her. He calls her an animal husbandry term usually reserved for female dogs. He also extended his middle phalanges. She responded by telling him to have marital relations with himself, and kept walking.
I post this because over the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of conversations with people about how many today seem to always want to put themselves first. Those of us who want to follow Christ’s teachings should always be trying to put the other person first. It shouldn’t be all about “me.” Why didn’t pedestrian wait for the light? Why didn’t she hurry when the light turned green? Was she thinking “It’s my right to cross the street”? Why did driver have to yell something–especially in front of kids. (And why did mother use equally coarse language in front of her own kids?) Why not just let the lady pushing the baby carriage pass? Was he thinking “I’m too important to have to wait for this lady?” In both situations, it appears to me that each said by their actions “I’m #1, you’re #2, yield to ME!”
Jesus said “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35) I think that’s an important lesson, and one we should all concentrate on a little more.