So yesterday night, I drove from Carlsbad to Mira Mesa to Mission Valley. Nothing out of the ordinary, other than the fact I drove 5 miles below the speed limit, which is 65 mph. Why did I do this? I don’t think there has ever been a time in my 12 years of driving where I actually drove the speed limit. I always stayed at 70, then 80, then 90, then that one time at 110 (which is actually an interesting story, maybe next time though).
I mean, there is a reason for a speed limit, but why do the majority of us feel compelled to go 70+ on the freeway? Do we really have somewhere that important to get to that we need to shave off at most 15 minutes from our commute? I know that I had somewhere to be that night, but it wasn’t like that ‘somewhere’ was going to just up and leave or anything.
You know, driving the speed limit, especially going to a far away event, is actually pretty relaxing. You get to drive in the slow lane, not worry about asshole speed racers and you are just really keeping to yourself. Going 60, I took in the sights around me, had a lot of time to think about my night and what might happen and most importantly, I wasn’t stressed at all. Oh yeah, and you save a ton of fuel for the trip by going a single speed all the way down.
The hour I spent driving down south reminded me of all the times I used to drive down from LA to SD when I was going to school up there, especially at night. Night driving is the best time to do long drives. There is just something about the slowly encroaching darkness and the lights of the other cars that just relaxes me for some reason. Back then, it would take me at most 2 hours to drive down. On the way, I would pass Disneyland and if it was late enough, I’d get to see some fireworks on the way down. Then if I didn’t feel like going home yet, I would stop by my buddy’s place in Irvine and get boba/mochi/hit up some random party that was going on. Ah, those were the days.
I was reminded randomly about a church story I heard when I was younger. There was this guy, a rich guy, driving one of the most expensive Mercedez sports car that was out on the market. One day he was going through a neighborhood driving above the speed limit, not stopping at some stop signs, until he heard a loud thump. He immediately stopped his car, stepped out, and saw a huge dent on the side of his car, as if someone threw something heavy. He looked around and saw a little boy standing there, afraid, and began yelling at the kid, threatening to sue him for what he did.
After he stopped yelling, the kid goes “I’m sorry mister, I didn’t know what else to do. My little brother fell from his wheelchair and I can’t pick him up by myself. No one would stop. I kept waving, pleading for cars to stop but none of them did. I didn’t know how else to get someone to stop and help me”. After hearing this, the rich guy calmed down and began to think about what happened. He stopped yelling and forgot all about the dent and went to help the little boy bring his disabled brother back into his wheelchair. He found out that the other boy was taking his brother out for the day, pushing him around the neighborhood because he didn’t get out much and wanted him to see the beauty in the world.
The man ended up staying with them until their parents came. They offered to pay for the dent and the man said not to worry about it. He apologized to the boys before getting into his car to leave. He decided to never get dent fixed.
You know, many of us go through life in a fast paced motion, as if there is nothing else around us, as if no one else in the world mattered. There are indeed other people around us, each with differing circumstances and reasons for being wherever they are. When we go through life in this manner, we lose sight of everything that is around us. We are so used to wearing invisible blinders like what horses wear, that we lose sight of the beauty surrounding us and the people who may be crying out for help.
People always talk about living your life as if it is your last. No, I disagree. I say, live your life as if it’s your second chance. By living your life as if it’s your last, you are under the impression that you will die tomorrow, so you will do anything to experience everything, even if that means putting other people’s well being outside of your own. By living your life as if it’s your second chance, you already understand that life is precious, that everything is precious and you will go about your day treating everything around you as such.
Dang, this was supposed to be about how enjoyable it is to drive below the speed limit and listen to good music and turned out to be preachy. Anyway, try driving under the speed limit at night with some good tunes sometime, you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. 🙂
Some awesome driving/thinking tunes:
Nujabes – luv sic (part 3)
Nujabes – luv sic (part 6)
Sugary Ray – any Sugar Ray song
Usher – DJ got us fallin in love again
Theory of a Deadman – Out of my head
Nujabes – Aurarian dance (it’s an instrumental)
Those are mine, what are yours?