The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Monday, October 27, 2014


It occurred to me, as I was driving down the road this morning and thinking about our much-beloved granddaughter, who recently got a ticket for driving through a red light, that getting that ticket was a good preparation for life for her, because of all the amazing considerations one must deal with in simply going through an intersection, even in a quiet neighborhood.
For instance, as we approach an intersection, are we in the correct lane; are we turning here or going forward; if turning, which way and are we in the proper lane for that turn?  Is there a traffic light, and if so, at what position is it:  is it green or red or yellow – go or stop or wait?  Is our approaching speed appropriate or not?  How far away are the people behind us?  In front of us?  To either side of us?  And are there any pedestrians?  If there is a stop sign, is it four-way or two-way, and what is the order of process – who goes next?  Because stop signs really require attention as to taking turns.

An automobile is a very powerful machine, even a very ordinary model such as we drive.  It is bigger than a bread box, very heavy, very capable of being a problem if we put it in the wrong place, particularly if we are going at the wrong speed for the situation.

Almost every element from our position to speed to where everyone else is has to be assessed and re-assessed constantly and it is simply not easy.  And if we are not careful, we could suffer injury to ourselves or we could cause injury to someone else. 

And if all of that doesn’t also apply to all our other activities in navigating through life, what would?


My mother used to say, when some problem or ‘challenge’ came along, that “If it’s not one thing, it’s twenty-four.”  Meaning, at least to my understanding, that something was just always going to come along, and sometimes lots of ‘somethings’.

Which pretty well applies to today’s many difficult situations.  We say that we not only have the Enterovirus, Ebola, terrorists in the middle east and problematic weather patterns, we also have Republicans!  Republicans would probably rephrase the statement a bit.

But here’s the thing we must all keep in mind:  times have never been easy.  Oh, there have been intervals of peace and prosperity, of course, over the long history of mankind, but interspersed among those intervals have been so many wars, so many plagues, so many periods of poverty and suffering.  And yet, mankind has, so far at least, as a species and as individuals, managed to find ways to deal with whatever comes along. 
Maybe, sooner or later, we’ll get really serious about looking out for each other, such as making sure that there are decent basic living conditions in areas such as West Africa, where Ebola comes from and where it gets out of hand so quickly in part because of lack of clean water and practical toilet facilities.  Maybe we’ll work as hard at helping the impoverished as we do in following the latest technical trends and the latest celebrities. 

Oh, even then, there would be problems to come along, but maybe they would come along one at a time, instead of ‘twenty-four.’