Road sense

Confusion reigns as vehicles pile up and fuel, time and patience are rapidly lost. Horns blare and people shout as all movement ceases. Then all at once, things begin to move. ‘

A policeman has appeared and, with speed and dexterity of waving hand, succeeds in bringing back order and sanity. He has perhaps booked an offender, ordered encroachers into their lanes and persuaded smaller vehicles to give way to bigger ones.
A single individual has been able to restore order all because everyone is duty-bound to obey his signs. It is easy to see that without the sensible controls enforced by the policeman, roads would function more as a track for hurdles rather than as pathways to progress.

There is a lesson to be learnt here. What holds good for highways holds good for the inner journey of our lives. Each day is, in a manner of speaking, made up of streets that we have to traverse. We come across hurdles and they can test our temper and our patience.

Do we then demand right of way without any regard for the needs and feelings of others? Do we bull-doze our way forward breaking rules and hurling invectives at those who stop or caution us? We could by our attitudes and actions bring sorrow, suffering and misery to others. It is at such junctures that an inner policeman can take charge. We may describe it as ‘Conscience’ that resides within all of us and which, in a small but insistent voice, tells us what is right and what is wrong. If we listen to it and heed it, it becomes stronger and clearer.

Ignore it however and it becomes weaker until its owner is brain-washed into believing that he is always right. As effectively as the observance of rules, politeness and understanding promotes smooth flow of traffic, so it does in human relationships.

Roads bring  travellers face to face with cross-roads too. We then pause to make sure that we are headed in the right direction. In our personal lives too come occasions when we have to make choices and decisions -- shall I do this or that, choose this one or that one?

At such times, the Four-way Test of questions framed by the Rotarians can be of immense help. They are: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all? The inner voice residing in us will provide the answers. The policeman within us can indeed take us a long way!

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