Tuesday, October 6, 2020

#280 / Tapping The Brakes

When it's time to slow down, when we suddenly realize that we are going WAY too fast, that would be the time that we would like to be able to "tap the brakes." 

Slamming on the brakes, if you have to do that, usually means that you haven't been paying enough attention, and that you're trying, too late, to avoid a disastrous collision. Lets just hope that isn't the situation. 

You are driving along, let's say, sort of paying attention, but maybe you are talking to a friend on your cellphone. You are a bit distracted. You are driving along, distracted - but just a little bit, maybe - and then you notice that you are going WAY too fast for current conditions. 

The last time you remember noticing, the road was smooth. Now, you notice that the road ahead is filled with potholes. It could be that it's starting to rain. Maybe you see a few snowflakes on the windshield. Maybe there is a burning car in one of the lanes ahead. The cars in front of you are starting to look like boulders in the road, instead of fellow travelers, all heading, along with you, in the same direction. 

If you're lucky, you'll have time to "tap the breaks," and to slow down, and to regain full control of your vehicle. You'll have an ability to ease ahead without running into that big tractor trailer in your lane, that HUGE tractor trailer that you now realize has come to a complete stop. 

Hopefully, you won't have to try any last minute, dangerous swerves, seeking room, somewhere, to avoid the immovable obstacle in front of you, an obstacle even bigger than that proverbial elephant in the room. Swinging onto the shoulder on the right, for instance, is always really dangerous. So is crossing into the oncoming lanes, as some sort of a last resort strategy.

When you are heading into a potentially dangerous situation, it's always best if you can "tap the brakes." Slow down, gradually, maybe even stop for a while; take a detour if you must. Anything to avoid running, full speed, into what amounts to a solid brick wall that you are approaching WAY too fast. 


This realistic description of what a driving emergency might feel like is intended to conjure up, in your mind, the possibility that our current social, political, and economic situation is pretty much just like that. 

If you don't think so, that means that you haven't been paying enough attention. 

Let's just hope that we have enough time, and the presence of mind, to start "tapping the brakes" before we run, full speed, into that brick wall coming up ahead.

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