Sometimes we address situations as they come to us, maybe look out ahead for challenges or opportunities, or we might just move out of the way and hope to avoid having to deal with any changes which might come along.

I live in a smallish town with a relatively short stretch of freeway running through it that has 7 exits and most have poorly designed on and off ramps. We have fairly light traffic most of the time, and the accepted freeway driving here is that if someone is going to merge onto the freeway, we move to the other lane.
In thinking about teaching driving to my teen, it struck me recently how we don’t merge here. In Seattle with lots of traffic, sure - of course you merge with cars coming onto the freeway. Moving to the next lane is not a logical option. You slow down or speed up, but you allow the new car to enter the flow.

This took me to thinking about facing new or potentially challenging situations. How do you respond? Do you address them with your knowledge and skills or simply move out of the way and pretend that the something new or the potential problem just doesn’t exist?

If you’re continually avoiding anything potentially uncomfortable, then when do you ever actually learn how to drive with traffic? The city becomes a scary place because you don’t know how to deal with anything other than easy and simplistic circumstances. What a limiting proposition.

When you stay in the lane and work with the entering cars, you might have to use a bit of strategy and cooperation, but it’s amazing how beautifully the system works.

Now, you can certainly stay in the small town with the hopes of avoiding anything daunting. But sometimes, the big city comes to the small town whether you want it to or not.

Photo by Chris Phan.