I love driving in Manhattan. In fact, I cannot remember a bad New York experience. Sure, the traffic is horrendous at times. I easily recall one summer day, driving without air conditioning, that it took me over an hour to move less than a mile. My suit, shirt, and everything else, was soaked to the skin. Yet, in spite of or maybe because of the inherent rules, risks, and rewards in Manhattan driving, I always found myself looking forward to the experience.
For the uninitiated, there are certain things about Manhattan driving that you must know. First, there are rules. They are specific, precise, and unwritten. One must never, ever, under any circumstances short of impending death, honk one’s horn. One must always allow the person with the bumper in front of yours full freedom – including turning left, right, or any other way he or she might choose. One can speed, but never more than traffic allows or the flow green lights permit.
Second, break the rules and you risk an accident. It will never be intentional, but the risk will on bending, twisting, or misconstruing the rules, dramatically increase. Remember, the nicer your car is the more important paying attention to the rules becomes.
Third, always remember that the flagrant violators of the rules are from out of town. Even if they are residents, they are not New Yorkers in the best sense of the spirit. The rule requests that we be patient with these individuals. They will honk, cut line, and even cause accidents (usually because they do not appreciate the bumper rule). The correct response is to smile, pick up speed, and ignore their ignorance.
Sometimes life is a lot like Manhattan driving with everyone acting as if they are from out of town. Don’t worry; life has a way of catching up. In fact, “Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you will end up out in the cold—real losers. Those who worked against you will end up empty-handed—nothing to show for their lives.” (Isaiah 41.11)
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