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‘The Congested Mindset’

By: Francis B. Ongkingco October 28,2016 - 10:15 PM

There was an uproar when a public official was misquoted by the media for stating that the bad traffic situation of our mega and metro cities are “simply” a consequence of our mindset.
“Traffic caused by our minds? Duh!”

One doesn’t need rocket science to know that our congested avenues and streets are caused by something more than a mental state or condition. It’s a combination of badly maintained roads, poor signage, intersecting never-ending water-electrical-construction works, and more.

Furthermore, all these could be integrated into a gradually self-adapting and efficient system if there were more political will and self-instilled discipline in both drivers and pedestrians.

Reflecting on this mindset comment, I thought to myself, “Although that public official may not have intended to mean what media misquoted him for, perhaps, a great deal of our traffic is indeed caused by mindset.

And mind you, I think there are a lot of sets to consider that aggravate traffic for both individuals and the great majority of our citizens.

A mindset is an attitude, disposition, inclination or mood. So if our attitude is positive, we can also say that our actions will be likewise. The same thing applies if we are negative.

What are some examples of traffic mindsets that can affect the drivers, co-drivers, the driven and the pedestrians? Here are a few that I have collected while driving through the streets myself.

The core of these mindsets is found in our hearts more than in our heads. If we carry positive sentiments, then we will drive and allow others to drive peacefully and safely.

If we harbor negative feelings, then at the journey’s end, we have possibly run dry of our emotional reserve and may end up running over everyone who gets in our way.

Here are some negative mindsets that could aggravate traffic and also everything else during the day:

a) Here We ego Again. Centering ourselves on the road of our ego is the source of internal congestion. Again? Yes, because all through our life we will have to fight against this inner tendency. Every time we think this way, we bear fruit to the next mindsets.

b) I Did it My Way. Did we just swerve or turn a corner without signaling? Did we just beat a red light or overspeed? This song needs no further explanation.

c) I am Right of Way. There are rules that indicate who has the right of way. But we can easily forget this inside a gridlock, when pedestrians don’t seem to look, when we are already late for a meeting, etc.

d) Don’t Hex and Drive! How many times have we cursed others while driving? This includes cursing ourselves which often leads to harsher potholes in our minds and feelings.

e) Being Horn Again! The horn is often an extension of our impatient sentiments. Sometimes we wish the sound could bulldoze slow cars off the fast lane. It like a curse without words when we indiscriminately honk at people like they were just cattle crossing the road.

Now, here are some positive mindsets:

a) No Waze out, but always a Waze in. Times when there seems to be no easy way out of a jam, think and pray your way into your heart where He is simply waiting for you to come into His love.

b) Excuse me…! Let’s be ready to admit our mistakes and errors on the road. At least internally, let’s not try to justify ourselves. We should be thankful that someone has “honked” us back into the right lane to avoid a collision.

c) Let’s do the Wave. If you’re agile enough, wave back to thank the other driver for whatever favor or courtesy he has shown. A thumb’s up can go a long way than the bad sign!

d) Keep Smiling. Even if you are wrong or wronged, smile! Not because you’re right, but because you admit you’ve been “foolishly thinking about yourself.” Our smile can sometimes disengage another driver already in his road rage mode.

e) Counting Stops. Don’t just stop. Instead Stop – for God, Look – at your neighbor and;

f) Pray. The most positive mindset on the road. We would avoid so many hurts –in ourselves and others– if we prayed while driving. No matter what, keep on praying.

g) Be Driven by God. Be always proactive on the road. How one drive says many things about how he is travelling towards his final destination: hopefully Heaven!

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TAGS: attitude, construction, discipline, electricity, Metro, mood, official, political, politics, public, public official, road, roads, traffic, water

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