Recently I have taken to walking to class in the morning (there’s something about a 20 minute stroll that just clears the head in the morning). One day while I was waiting to cross a busy intersection a thought flew into my head and set up camp on my left frontal lobe. That thought was how a little white man made up of small light bulbs governs many of our lives. If the little homie is not glowing, but instead the red hand that belts out “you shall not pass,” people (myself included) don’t dare cross. It is not as if there is a direct punishment awaiting a soul for crossing when the red hand is present. Many a times I have crossed without the permission of the white homie and lived to tell the tale, but nonetheless 9 times out of 10 I obey the white homie and wait.
But that’s the point. This system only works when people willingly obey. When the drivers decide to concede to the power of the red light and us pedestrians follow the rules of crossing, there is a harmony. If only one player were to break the rules and ignore the red light or the hand, then consequences would ensue. It’s not that some rays of light are more powerful than us, it is that there needs to be a sense of understanding and order shared by all in order for to get along. Every once in a while I see the true American rebel crossing the street when the red hand is on duty. As much as I long to embody the renegade persona, I much rather live to see tomorrow (or at least not be confined to a cast).
When you step back and look at how American society is so ruled by mere concepts it’s slightly humorous. Even money doesn’t hold true value unless we give it value. The very thing we slave hours for, waste in minutes, and covet is worthless if we unanimously deem it so. I don’t think money is evil, and driving/walking responsible is admirable, but every once in a while I need to analyze my life and make sure the things I attribute value to are worth it (because often times they’re not). The odds of me stepping out for a walk this weekend are pretty high, and you can bet that when the little white homie reveals himself, that I’ll casually stroll off the curb and give him a wink as I pass.