Give Me the Green Light

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September 2013

“Hey, Claricha! You can leave early if you like today. We don’t have many kids here so you can go.” Said my boss at 4:00 pm one Tuesday afternoon.

I popped up from my spot and bolted to the door. I had a smile a mile wide as I got on 496 E heading home to East Lansing. That smiled quickly faded as I got off on my exit and drove into a major traffic jam. Stop/go traffic all the way down this major street. I sat at one light for three cycles. (One of my driving pet peeves is sitting at a green light because it’s imbedded in everyone’s brain since early childhood that green means GO!) So here I am at a green light with my foot easing off the brake when the car behind slams into me.

We exchanged info and called the police and all that jazz. A broken bumper is all it cost me. The other girl’s hood was all messed up and she got a ticket for being at fault.

Fast forward to the other day (March 2014) when on my way to work I was sitting at another green light because of the traffic in front of me and I looked in my rear view mirror and saw that someone was about to hit my car. The driver threw his hands up and quickly switched lanes just as my heart stopped beating momentarily.

Later that evening, I was in Detroit and the two cars in front of me were sitting at a green light. The first one had hazard lights on. So I was sitting there waiting to get over when a car came driving really fast. I swerved quickly and I could hear the loud screech of their brakes. I shut my eyes tight and desperately prayed aloud “Please, don’t hit my car!” Luckily they stopped JUST in time.

I prayed and I asked God why that kept happening to me, but it wasn’t until today, May 10, 2014, I heard the answer.

Green means go. Most preschoolers in America can articulate that.

Sometimes we get the go ahead in life. All of the major signs are telling us to go for it. “It’s my legal right. I’m just doing what I’ve been taught to do.” But the reality of things is this, even if everything says go, there may be real reasons that prevent us from moving forward. And when you decide to charge forward and ignore the obvious things in your way, you cause a collision.

You have places to go, but don’t be so concerned with your agenda that you aren’t paying attention to the people around you and how their lives will be directly impacted by your decisions. They’ll get hurt, scared or upset and you’ll have to pay for the damage.

Update:
You’re an individual. You have rights. You can do what you want. Others shouldn’t be bothered by or pay attention to your choices. (See conversations about Raven Symone, Ray Rice’s wife, Tiny, same sex couples, cigarette smokers, gun carriers, abortion… Blah blah blah)
And I’m not saying there’s no merit to the individualism argument, I’m just a firm believer that no man is an island and we are all impacted the choices everyone makes.

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