Be Kind, But Not at Intersections
I’ll just sit here while you comprehend the fact that I’m not going until you go.
I mean it, I’m not going anywhere until you go.
No, please. It’s all you.
By all means, do go through.
Nah, I’ll just wait this out until you go.
Cumulatively, I’ve wasted at least 3 hours of my life at intersections in the ridiculous
dance of ‘You go’ kindness. At first, wanting to blame the patriarch - is there anything more
degrading than a guy ‘letting’ you go through? Actually, yes, a guy not letting you go through - I
thought the problem lie in a resistance to determining who, in multiple iterations, arrived at an
intersection in their vehicle just slightly before another, when one driver must turn this or that
way, while the other either needs to take the same turn or go through.
When I got past both the desire to understand this phenomenon’s origin story, as well as
the revelation of the frequency with which we really are showing up in this intersection-arrival-synchronization-situation, I began focusing on how much of my life is taken from me because of it.
While I appreciate the willingness of others to collaborate with me at intersections, the
gesture of concession causes more harm than good: not only the seconds that pass by as both
parties perform this kindness exchange, but I also end up feeling more frustrated than flattered.
A seemingly good intention by another person inadvertently builds a wedge.
Please stop being so nice at intersections.
If you arrived there a hair after me, just go.
If you think we arrived there at the same time, just go.
If you think you’d like to see if a neighbor has a surveillance camera that can determine
which of us mere mortals rolled up and slightly across the crosswalk point first, to ensure that
the fairest action is taken for moving through the stop sign, please don’t. Just go.
If you’re worried - and I don’t think you are - that I will dislike you and then post about
you on Facebook if you go through the stop sign before me - and so you stay there and wait for
me to go just to prevent that fate, just go. I don’t even have Facebook.
Imagine a world where we all understood these rules: someone at the intersection takes
the lead, and you, the driver, think 'Wow, that person really values me as a human. I'm glad
we're both in the world together.' That day, you grab a few seconds of your life back, and
collectively, endless drivers you may have previously considered rude have actually given you
the gift of time.
Be kinder in general, yes. But at an intersection, just go ahead and be a dick. It’s the
nicest thing you can do.
*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Be Kind, But Not at Intersections' in the style of Georges Seurat, the Liz's artist of choice.*