It hadn’t occurred to me until now that whenever you get into a car you’re taking your life into your own hands. This became crystal clear recently when I was driving in L.A. The feeling came over me when I realized that drivers consider the act of driving secondary to texting and phone conversations. Referring to those holding their phone while driving rather than using Bluetooth. It’s the strangest thing.
Then I thought, wow that must be stressful to text, phone and drive at the same time. Not to mention for everyone else driving around them. It could be disastrous. The number of accidents that I saw, was daily. I wondered if this was unusual, and yet I don’t think so. It was more about how easy it would be to avoid having an accident if people didn’t multi-task while driving.
What could possibly be THAT important that you needed to check your text messages or talk on your phone. I think it’s more of a generational thing than a need. No wonder work stress and burn out are on the rise. I learned very early on to just drive, when driving. When I found myself reaching for the phone to call my mother, the FIRST thing she asked me was if I was driving. When I said, yes, she immediately hung up. “How rude” I thought, and then I realized that she was protecting me. Through her actions she conditioned me not to talk on the phone while driving. It resonated. Now I don’t. It’s very freeing.
It’s not even the idea of having an accident. It’s all the near misses. People in cars swerving into other lanes, holding up traffic because of texting and braking, slamming their brakes because they were distracted, pedestrians almost getting hit because drivers are going through stoplights and signs. So many distractions that could be avoided if only the one focus was to drive from point A to point B without needing to do something other than driving.
Doing more than one thing at a time typically results in doing everything poorly. It makes little sense. In fact, new information came out not that long ago that said that multi-tasking was not as productive as was once thought. Look, I get it, we’re not always rationale human beings. We see things from a perspective that we want to see them. Case in point, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waited at an intersection with others, and drivers ignoring the signs and continue to turn right as pedestrians have the right of away. The anger spewed from drivers is ridiculous – it’s as if pedestrians were in the wrong. But wait, if that same driver was a pedestrian, THEN it’s a whole other perspective. It’s nuts.
If we believe that it’s necessary to respond to life instantly and I dare say, selfishly, by not paying attention to the things around us and other people, this idea of multi-tasking; driving, texting, phoning being one example, will lead us down the opposite path of what we believe to be thriving. Aside from driving, imagine if we paused more. Took the time to breathe more. This idea of constantly being busy for busy sake is a slippery slope my friends that could lead to our health being compromised. What good is that?
If we took driving as a metaphor for how we did everything else in our lives then we would focus on one thing at a time, because the way you do one thing, is the way you do everything.