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What signal are you sending?

“Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.” ~ David Lettermansignals

Something that really ticks me off is drivers who ignore traffic signals and run red lights. They’re in such a hurry, consider themselves so important, that they can’t wait a couple of minutes for a green light. So they risk not just their own lives, but yours . . . and mine. A lovely woman that used to exercise with me was in a horrific accident because of one of these fools. The woman who hit her didn’t even see the red light, though, because she was texting. I don’t even want to get started on texting and driving. Bad enough every other driver is on his cell phone.

Then there are the idiots don’t use signals at all. They seem to think the rest of us are mind readers. Don’t they realize that signaling their intentions helps them get where they’re going safely by helping other drivers avoid hitting them? Obviously not. Personally I think they’re too stupid to even think about anybody else.

Not long ago I was driving home from meeting a friend for lunch and I was behind this guy who kept slowing down for no apparent reason. We were both in the right lane of a two-lane street. After he’d hit his brakes several times, I started to go around him. And just at that point, he suddenly swerved into the left lane and turned left!  Why didn’t he simply signal? Then I’d have known what he wanted to do. That kind of stupidity makes me crazy.

This incident got me thinking about other kinds of signals and how they affect our lives. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we constantly project signals to the world. Smiles are signals, as are frowns. The tone of voice we use is a signal. It can be a welcome or a warning. Body language, the words we choose, the way we dress, the company we keep, the way we treat other people, all tell the world something about us.

Are you sending the message you want to send? Are you telling others that you respect them, that you are considerate and polite and someone they would like to know? Or are you telling them you are too special to follow the rules, that you’re entitled to do as you please, never mind that it might be against the law or hurt someone else?

Think about it.

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