Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maternal Instinct & Death Mobiles

Everytime an SUV rounds too close to my
kids and I as we are crossing the street,
and I look up and see a mom - identifiable
by the back seat children's car seats,
sometimes filled with actual live children -
talking on a cell phone or texting, I wonder
what has become of that driver's maternal

It's strange to strap your child carefully
into her car seat and then drive distracted.
The only explanation that comes to mind
is that most people when driving an SUV
or even a regular car don't really realize
the destructive potential of thousands of
pounds of steel and combustible fuel
hurdling along at speeds their ancestors of
even a 100 years ago hardly dreamed.

Automobiles are also death mobiles.  The
convenience they bring us is bought at a
high price in many ways, but still of course
they can not move us through space as quickly
as a cell phone or Blackberry can.

While in an automobile, we're almost nowhere.
The car is a bubble which separates us from
the humans around us so we can move as quickly
as possible to another place; but a phone allows our
body to be in one spot and our mind in another.

Travelling in a car while speaking on a phone,
we're not even really present in the strange limbo
of the automobile itself; and we're certainly not
as mindful of those bodily around but
doubly excluded from our attention by car
and phone.  Unfortunately, the vehicle with all
its destructive potential is actually there, and
if not minded can cause great harm or kill.

It's not an exaggeration to  say humans need
attention; and unfortunately when someone
driving does not give it and others the attention
required, it can prove this point in dramatically
catastrophic fashion.

No comments: