Existential Crosswalk

CrosswalkThere is a crosswalk that traverses a relatively major local street between my home and my school. It has no lights to regulate it, so there is always this moment of decision: will I risk life and limb by simply stepping out, putting the cars going by under the imperative to stop, or will I wait for the car to go by and go when it’s safe?

This existential moment of decision reveals so much about our contemporary culture. All who are faced with this decision are immediately the marginalized: those who have to decide in the face of fear; those who are not currently enjoying the power conferred by a thousand pounds of oil-propelled steel.

Those who timidly wait for the cars go by are passively complicit in their marginalization. They are saying that this is the natural order of things, that cars should come before people, that we are on a lower rung of society. How different is this from mandatory kneeling before your “betters” in ages gone by?

Then there are those who boldly—or nervously—walk out in front of traffic, asserting their refusal to be dominated by that which has usurped our cities and towns. It is a belief that there is actually a heart hidden inside that rumbling death bearing down upon us. They stare down the driver, daring; taunting. They are saying, even if you hit me, I have already won.

4 responses to “Existential Crosswalk”

  1. The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it depends on your perspective. If my critique is correct, then they are passively complicit.

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