An anology.

The overwhelming question of the day is why should some people be allowed to keep homes they bought but could not afford at a cost to those who made prudent decisions and either rented or purchased homes they could afford. I believe I have a suitible analogy to the situation.

Ever be sitting at a red light and when the light turns green someone in a neighboring lane figures out they are in the wrong lane and decides they want over into the lane you are in and the guy in front of you sits there and lets him in… then the guy in front of you squeezes through on the yellow and you’re stuck there for another red cycle?

Now the driver in the wrong lane could have sucked it up and found a place to turn around, or the driver in front of you could have ignored him and not let him in, but neither did. The driver in the wrong lane wanted the easiest solution to a problem of his own making. The driver in front of you wanted to a good deed to help someone. You got stuck with the bill.

When I’ve been stuck behind someone doing that I have simply layed on the horn to voice my objection and let the generous person know that there are people behind him. In all cases people look at me as if I am the problem. Why should I object to waiting an extra red signal because someone was in the wrong lane? Or maybe they cannot even conceive that their act of generosity (so the person in the wrong lane is not delayed) comes at the cost of delaying other people who were in the right lane.After all, the person in the wrong lane just made a mistake and needs some help. According to most in American society that is being courteous, to let the guy in.

Real courtesy is something rather different however. It’s the person making the mistake realizing that his mistake does not mean he gets to impose a cost on other people. If he is in the wrong lane he goes the direction of that lane and finds a place to turn around or goes around the block or makes other adjustments.

I think the way people behave in little things like driving explains their behavior in larger things. American society is one where people are expected to do good deeds for other people where the costs are placed upon a third party who had no say in the matter.



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