Yesterday, a motorcyclist in my neighborhood went down making a turn and died when the SUV driving behind him ran over his body.

Today, a woman driving a brand new BMW passed me on the right while I was in the right-most lane. Despite riding 5mph over the speed limit in the right-most lane (generally accepted as the “slow” lane) of three lanes, I was going too slow, so she used the bike lane and half of my lane to cut around me. She then continued speeding, driving at least 70mph in a 45mph zone.

These are the days when I wonder if it’s just too damn dangerous to keep riding on the street. These are the days when I wonder if this city is just too crowded with cars and distracted drivers for the roads to be safe enough for everyone.

When I seek to understand the world around me, I look for actions. Actions speak far more clearly and loudly than words. As for the woman who I encountered today, she clearly did not care about the safety of any potential cyclists she may not have seen. She did not care about my safety. She did not care about the safety of any pedestrians on the sidewalk that she so narrowly avoided. Getting to the next red light as fast as she could was prioritized over the mortal safety of other human beings. She stonily avoided my gaze at the red light and sped off as soon as the light turned green. Whatever her emergency was, it was at Target.

I felt white-hot rage in the moments immediately following the incident at this woman’s intentional carelessness. I reined it in long enough to get home — emotion will get you killed out there. As the afternoon wore on and as I sat, the rage softened. It softened into sadness. I realized that this incident was simply a drop into the ocean of sadness I’ve been feeling about the lack of consideration I’ve been observing in the way some people treat others human beings. The divisiveness has been pervading the news and the media more and more, particularly with this ongoing election cycle and the various social injustices taking place in so many parts of this world.

I’m lucky to be surrounded by friends who also do this self-awareness and self-improvement work. But this buffer shields me from the harsh truth that I’m investing in a currency that not everybody in this society values. There’s no going back to numbing my feelings and hardening my heart. This is the high road; this is the worthy road for my own sanity regardless of the futility I sometimes feel. There is no other way. I know this.

But still, there are difficult days. Today is one of them.

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