On my way home from a convention today, I found myself being passed on the highway by every other vehicle. Not just the occasional ones that is normal for me – usually there’s a mix of some passing me, me passing a few, and most going the same speed as me – but all the other vehicles. I wasn’t driving slower than usual, but I did realize this was rush hour. And I started to wonder why it was that everyone was in such a hurry that they would risk speeding tickets (and not small ones, either).
I figure that part of the reason is that most people don’t know how useless speeding actually is. If I look back to times I was in a particular hurry, I found that at the fastest speed I was willing to drive (admittedly not all that much over the speed limit – what can I say? My parents owned a driving school when I was growing up) I managed to shave a whole five minutes off a drive of more than an hour. That’s really not worth the trouble.
But then, I realized, it was unlikely that these people were all on a schedule to get somewhere. Not in the evening. They were most likely going home. So many people, rushing to get home – risking speeding tickets and, judging by the speed, the potential to lose their licences to get home.
And I realized that what was most important to them was the feeling of getting home as fast as possible – the feeling that they had stolen a few more moments to spend time with their family, work on personal projects, play video games, or do whatever it was they want to do with their lives.
So many people feel like they don’t have enough time in their lives – and let’s face it: they don’t. There are some extraordinary people out there who can balance professional and personal lives and be perfectly happy, but I don’t think the average person can. Otherwise, why would so many people daily risk the severe consequences of driving dangerously just to scrape a few more moments of time to themselves?
It seems that I have added yet another reason to my belief that the average work weekshould be cut in half (with the economy adjusted to accommodate it). Not only would it improve mental health, make people happier overall, and increase the number of jobs for the workforce, but it would make people safer drivers because they wouldn’t feel like they had to rush around to have enough time to spend on what they want to do.
Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.